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Against the Odds: Shared Fate (Modern)

Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 380 of Against the Odds. We did a couple of special Against the Odds polls a few weeks ago. While the winning cards from those polls will be showing up in a special place soon (if they haven't already by the time this video goes live), we're heading to Modern today to play one of the cards that just missed winning: Shared Fate. Shared Fate is one of the most unique cards in Magic. Once it hits the battlefield, it basically makes players switch decks, so our opponent will be playing our deck while we will play with their deck. In practice, this means we win with Shared Fate by building the most useless deck possible and then using Shared Fate to make our opponent play it, while we get to play with their (hopefully) good cards! What are the odds of winning with Shared Fate in Modern? Let's find out on this week's Against the Odds!

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Against the Odds: Shared Fate

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The Deck

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Shared Fate is by far one of the most unique cards in all of Magic. Once it hits the battlefield, it essentially forces players to switch decks. If our opponent draws a card, they instead exile a card from our deck and can play it. And if we draw a card, we exile one from our opponent's deck and can play it. There are three big challenges to making Shared Fate work. First, you obviously need to find Shared Fate and get it on the battlefield. Second, we need to make sure that we aren't too far behind on the battlefield when Shared Fate comes down. Shared Fate only impacts future cards, not what is currently in our opponent's hand or on the battlefield, so we could play Shared Fate and still lose to our opponent's good cards if they already have access to a bunch of them. Third, we want to make sure that once we Shared Fate, our opponent (hopefully) won't be able to beat us with our own cards, which means that rather than trying to build the best deck possible, our goal is to build the most useless deck we can and then force our opponent to play it!

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So, how do we build a deck that is useful for us before Shared Fate hits the battlefield but is useless for our opponent once Shared Fate is in play? Our best answer is no-mana-cost suspend cards like Ancestral Vision, Crashing Footfalls, and Profane Tutor. Before Shared Fate hits the battlefield, we can Ancestral Vision to draw cards, Profane Tutor to find Shared Fate, and Crashing Footfalls to make some Rhinos, either by suspending them fairly or cheating them into play (which we'll talk more about in a minute). But once we stick a Shared Fate and our opponent starts exiling these cards, they are useless because you can only suspend cards from your hand. Combine this with the fact that these cards have no mana value, meaning you can't cast them normally, and they are essentially just dead draws for our opponent from Shared Fate.

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We're also playing As Foretold as a way to cast our no-mana-value spells without suspending them, which is great but also a bit risky with Shared Fate. Being able to cast an Ancestral Vision, Crashing Footfalls, or Profane Tutor without waiting a bunch of turns for it to come off suspend is super powerful. The problem is that once we switch decks with Shared Fate, our opponent could use As Foretold to cast some of our spells from exile. In practice, I don't think this is much of a problem because our deck is so bad we should be able to kill our opponent with their cards from Shared Fate before they can find an As Foretold and start doing things. But it's worth mentioning that As Foretold means our Shared Fate is more of a soft lock than a true hard lock.

Yahenni's Expertise does double duty in our deck. Not only does it let us cast one of our no-mana-value spells for free, but it also works as a sweeper against small creatures, which is super important to our plan...

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As I mentioned before, one of the biggest challenges of winning with Shared Fate is that it only stops future cards, not the cards our opponent already has in their hand or on the battlefield. If you watch the video, you'll see we had several games where we had Shared Fate but our opponent already had a big board or a hand full of Primeval Titans, and they simply didn't care about drawing our bad cards for the rest of the game because they could beat us with the cards they already had from their deck. As such, our deck is overloaded with removal and sweepers to hopefully keep the board clean while we are waiting to get Shared Fate online, to help ensure our opponent has access to as few of their good cards as possible once we force them to play with our mostly useless deck.

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And that's basically the deck, although a couple of things are worth mentioning about the mana base. First, one of the rules of playing Shared Fate is that we can't play any cards that kill Shared Fate, or else, once we Shared Fate and our opponent starts drawing from our deck, they'll draw into the answer eventually and break the lock. However, channel lands like Boseiju, Who Endures let us get around this rule and play some artifact and enchantment destruction without worrying about our opponent destroying Shared Fate because channel (much like suspend) only works from your hand. Sure, our opponent will eventually exile a Boseiju to Shared Fate, but they won't be able to channel it, so for them, it's just a legendary land. Second, because Shared Fate was printed 20 years ago, it doesn't fix your mana for the cards it exiles, so we need to be able to make mana of our opponent's colors to cast our spells. While we'll eventually get this mana from their deck (because we'll exile lands to Shared Fate and be able to play them), we're also playing some off-color Triomes in our deck to turn on our opponent's fetch lands. A fetch like Arid Mesa would be useless to us as a Sultai deck if we exile it with Shared Fate, but by playing a Ketria Triome, we'll have a land in our deck that an Arid Mesa can fetch out!

The Matchups

Honestly, I'm not sure Shared Fate has any truly good matchups, although ideally, we'll play against decks that aren't super fast and can be disrupted by our sweepers and removal. We played against Amulet Titan a couple of times and found the matchup horrible, mostly because our opponent always had a Primeval Titan in hand, so they could still just kill us even after we Shared Fate. In our ideal world, our opponent will dump their hand of threats, and we'll clean them up with a wrath and then stick Shared Fate on a mostly stable board, although that rarely happens in practice. Heavy-counterspell decks are also tough since they can just counter Shared Fate, although we do have some good sideboard options like Mystical Dispute and Veil of Summer to help fight through counters.

The Odds

As far as winning matches, Shared Fate was horrible. We played a league and a couple of two-player queue matches and didn't win a single one, although we did win a bunch of games along the way, which was pretty sweet. While our Shared Fate plan did work as we intended, the big problem is Modern cards are so powerful these days that even though we have a bunch of removal, sweepers, and discard, we often died either before Shared Fate hit the battlefield or a turn or two after, to the leftover cards our opponent had pre-Shared Fate. On the other hand, we did get some hilarious wins with the deck, especially our last match against Murktide where we managed to stabilize at one life, play a Shared Fate, and win with our opponent's Murktide Regents and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferers 20 turns later just before we would have run out of cards in our library and milled out. Basically, Shared Fate is pretty horrible at winning matches, but it does win some games, and those games are hilarious!


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

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