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Against the Odds: Shared Fate


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode forty-one of Against the Odds! Last week on our poll, one of the most requested Against the Odds cards of all time finally came in first: Shared Fate! With about 4,000 votes cast, the Blue enchantment beat out Legacy Donate and Briarbridge Patrol in Standard by three and eight percent. Coming in at the bottom of the pile were Defiant Bloodlord and Myr Incubator. As a result, they'll drop off of the poll, but Donate and Briarbridge Patrol will return for another shot at glory, along with three new options, but for this week, we'll be heading to Modern to see what fate has in store.

We'll talk more about Shared Fate in a minute, 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: Shared Fate Deck Tech

Against the Odds: Shared Fate Games

The Deck

Shared Fate is one of the strangest cards to build around in all of Magic, because it flips one of the oldest truths about deck building on its head. Normally, when you set about building a deck, you want to make it as good as possible. Well, Shared Fate asks the opposite: it wants us to build as bad a deck as possible, since once we stick a Shared Fate, we essentially swap decks with our opponent. The worse our deck is, the harder it will be for our opponent to win after we resolve a Shared Fate

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Of course, our deck has to be bad in such a way that it keep us alive long enough to resolve a Shared Fate, and hopefully not be too far behind when we do, so the basic idea is that we play a ton of discard, removal, and card draw, but no actual win conditions (other than Shared Fate). If our deck is bad enough and we resolve Shared Fate quickly enough, it basically becomes a hard lock. While our opponent is playing with all of our useless cards, we get to play with their (hopefully) good cards, and sooner or later, we beat them down with their own creatures or kill them with their own combo. 

Card Draw

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When I first put together the deck, I had a couple copies of Sleight of Hand instead of the Peek. I mean, Sleight of Hand is way more powerful than Peek, so it's obviously the correct choice, right? Not in Shared Fate land. The problem with Sleight of Hand is that it doesn't actually draw a card; instead, it lets you look at the top two cards of your library and put one into your hand. What this means is that once our opponent exiles it with Shared Fate, it gives them a way to find a card from their own deck, which is exactly what we are trying to avoid. 

Basically, this package of cards does two things. First, and most importantly, it helps us find Shared Fate, and our deck literally cannot win without resolving Shared Fate (one of the downsides of playing a deck without any win conditions). Second, Gitaxian Probe and Peek let us look at our opponent's hand to see if the coast is clear to resolve a copy of our namesake enchantment. 

Removal

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Yes, that's Fiery Impulse in a Modern deck. Normally, decks in Modern want to run good cards like Lightning Bolt, but in our deck, that's risky. Since sooner or later our opponent is going to be playing with our cards, Lightning Bolt represents a way that they could kill us (especially if we take some damage before we resolve Shared Fate). Fiery Impulse is the closest thing we have in Modern to a Lightning Bolt that can only target creatures. 

Otherwise, we play a bunch of sweepers in Anger of the Gods and Damnation. One of the problems with Shared Fate is that we can resolve it but still lose the game if we are behind on board. As a result, being able to wipe away our opponent's board before we resolve Shared Fate is extremely important. 

Discard / Counters

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Discard like Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize does two important things for our deck. First, they help us stay alive long enough to resolve a Shared Fate, since we can play them in the early game and strip our opponent of their best threat or of cards that could potentially interact with Shared Fate (counters, enchantment removal, etc.). Second, they let us know if we should resolve a Shared Fate. Just like being behind on board, if our opponent's hand is loaded with enough action to beat us through a Shared Fate, we need to hold off on resolving the enchantment until we draw more removal, discard, and counters.  Meanwhile, Mana Leak is sort of a catch-all that works well before and after we resolve Shared Fate. In the early game, we can use it to keep threats off the battlefield, and if we have a copy in hand when we resolve a Shared Fate, we can use it to take care of whatever threats are leftover in our opponent's hand. 

The Matchups

In theory, Shared Fate can lock most decks out of the game. The problem is that it's fairly difficult to get into a position where Shared Fate really is a hard lock. Probably our best matchups are against decks that rely on spells to win, like Scapeshift, Storm, or even various control decks. Against these decks, the odds that our opponent has a hand (or battlefield) full of creatures when we resolve Shared Fate is fairly low, which means we can use whatever discard and removal we have left over to clean up the game. 

On the other hand, as we learned in the videos, decks that are based around playing lots of efficient creatures like Abzan or various GW decks, or decks like Tron—which only need one copy of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon or Karn Liberated to win the games—can be tough. I was amazed how often we resolved a Shared Fate and went on to lose the game because our opponent had just enough action left in their hand or on the battlefield to finish us off. 

Another consideration is our opponent's deck. It really helps our cause when we have the ability to cast our opponent's spells without waiting until we draw and play their lands. Exotic Orchard helps, but we definitely had some situations against Green and White where we exiled a lot of good cards from our opponent's deck, but we couldn't cast them because we didn't have the right mana. 

The Odds

All in all, we won 5 of 16 games (good for a 31.5 game win percentage) and 2 of 7 matches (28.57 match win percentage), but I felt like we could have won quite a few more games with a little more luck. We had multiple situations where we saw our opponent's hand with Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek, or Gitaxian Probe, and realized that the coast was clear for Shared Fate, but then ended up getting beat by the one card our opponent drew in the turn between seeing our opponent's hand and resolving the Shared Fate (probably the best example of this was our Mono-U Tron opponent casting Repeal on their own Snapcaster Mage and drawing into a Remand, but our Kiki Chord opponent drawing a Chord of Calling the turn before we set up the lock was pretty frustrating as well). 

On the other hand, we only really won two games with the Shared Fate lock; the other three wins were due to Bribery on Emrakul, the Aeons Torn against Jeskai Nahiri, and because an opponent mulliganed to four and then promptly scooped to our Turn 1 Gitaxian Probe. So maybe 30-ish percent is about right for the deck. 

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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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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