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Budget Magic: $85 (25 tix) Overflowing Omniscience (Standard, Magic Online)


སྐུ་གཟུགས་བཟང་པོ་ལགས།, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! Last week during Against the Odds, we ran into this crazy deck built around ramping into Omniscience and Overflowing Insight. While we managed to pick up the win, the deck looked interesting enough that I figured I should probably try to build my version of it. The end result is the crazy ramp-combo deck we're playing today: Overflowing Omniscience! The basic plan of the deck is to spend the early turns ramping into Omniscience as quickly as possible and then hopefully win the game immediately once Omniscience resolves (without letting our opponent untap) by drawing our entire deck with Overflowing Insight and then looping Overflowing Insight with Gaea's Blessing until we eventually force our opponent to draw their entire deck and lose to drawing on an empty library. Can Omniscience form the foundation for a sweet combo-ramp deck in Guilds of Ravnica Standard? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Budget Magic: Overflowing Omniscience (Standard)

The Deck

Overflowing Omniscience is basically a hybrid ramp-combo deck—a ramp deck that, rather than looking to win the game with big creatures, is looking to ramp into a semi-infinite combo to kill the opponent. The deck is pretty easy to break down: pretty much every card in the deck is ramp, a combo piece, or removal.

The Ramp

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We start off our ramp on Turns 1 and 2 with Llanowar Elves and Elfhame Druid. Both are pretty simple: they come down and give us an extra mana, which helps us ramp into our mid- and late game plays a turn earlier. Since our primary payoff spell (Omniscience) costs a massive 10 mana, we need as much ramp as possible to make our deck function. After we have a bunch of mana, we can also use your mana dorks as chump blockers to help keep our life total high until we set up our game-ending combo. 

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After playing our mana dorks, by Turn 2 or 3, we're hoping to start casting our spell-based ramp. Grow from the Ashes can find us a land for just three mana or double-ramp us for five mana thanks to kicker, which works really well with Elfhame Druid. We can play an Elfhame Druid on Turn 2, we can untap and use it to add two mana for kicked spells to cast a kicked Grow from the Ashes on Turn 3 and start Turn 4 with somewhere around seven mana! It's also worth mentioning that the lands from Grow from the Ashes come into play untapped, which means we can often cast Grow from the Ashes and follow it up with a mana dork in the same turn.

Meanwhile, Circuitous Route just finds us two basic lands (since we aren't playing any Gates) for four mana, making it a cheap way to jump the curve not once but twice. As for Gift of Paradise, it's just a one-of. In the past, Gift of Paradise has been great, but right now, there are a lot of incidental ways for our opponent to deal with enchantments (like various Vraskas or Vivien Reid) or even the land we're enchanting (Assassin's Trophy). This makes the spell-based ramp better in our current meta, although Gift of Paradise is a fine inclusion as an extra ramp spell, since gaining three life can be pretty helpful against the aggressive decks of the format.

Together, our mana dorks and ramp spells help us get to 10 mana as quickly as possible to start our combo kill. In theory, we can hit 10 mana as soon as Turn 5, and with the amount of ramp spells in our deck, it's pretty surprising if we don't hit 10 mana by turn six. After we get to 10 mana, the real fun begins!

The Combo

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So, what are we ramping into? An infinite(ish) combo, of course! The two key cards to our combo are Omniscience and Overflowing Insight. Omniscience is pretty simple: once we get it on the battlefield, we get to cast all of the cards in our hand for free. The idea of the deck is that as soon as Omniscience resolves, we'll be able to win the game without letting our opponent untap. Overflowing Insight is a key part of that plan. Once we have Omniscience on the battlefield, it allows us to draw seven cards for free, which hopefully finds us more copies of Overflowing Insight (or other card-draw spells) until we eventually draw our entire deck. The other important part of Overflowing Insight is that it helps us find our Omniscience. We can get to seven mana as early as Turn 4, and drawing seven cards is a great way to dig into one of our two copies of Omniscience. So let's assume we get down Omniscience and draw (essentially) our entire deck by chaining together copies of Overflowing Insight. How do we actually win the game?

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The next step in our combo is taking an extra turn with Nexus of Fate. While we only have two copies of the instant and are not really looking to take infinite turns, we usually need one extra turn to untap our mana (since casting Omniscience typically taps us out). As we draw our entire deck, we'll find a Nexus of Fate and take an extra turn. The final piece of the puzzle is two copies of Gaea's Blessing. The trick here is that we can use Gaea's Blessing to shuffle three copies of Overflowing Insight back into our deck. Since we'll only have a very small number (usually five-ish) of cards left in our deck, we know that when we untap for our next turn, we'll be drawing an Overflowing Insight, a Gaea's Blessing, or a Nexus of Fate

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Now, we start targeting our opponent with Overflowing Insight, forcing them to draw extra cards. Using Arch of Orazca, Memorial to Glory, or Chemister's Insight, we draw a couple more cards from our tiny deck full of Overflowing Insight, Gaea's Blessing, and Nexus of Fate. We keep targeting our opponent with copies of Overflowing Insight until we eventually draw our second Gaea's Blessing, which we use to shuffle two copies of Overflowing Insight and the first Gaea's Embrace. It's fine if we happen to draw a Nexus of Fate—we just take an extra turn and trust that sooner or later, our Gaea's Blessing or Overflowing Insights will shuffle to the top of the deck. The end result is that after we target our opponent with six or seven copies of Overflowing Insight, they will have drawn their entire deck and lose to drawing on an empty library!

Other Stuff

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The rest of our deck is designed to help keep us alive long enough to assemble our combo and win the game. River's Rebuke is sort of a super-Fog, making our opponent pick up all their permanents, which typically buys us a turn or two as they are trying to replay all of their cards. Ideally, this will be just enough time that we can finish ramping into our Omniscience and combo off. Meanwhile, Pelakka Wurm is just a one-of, and while we can occasionally win a game by beating down with the 7/7 trample, it's mostly in the deck as a way to gain seven life against aggro to stay out of the range of burn spells. One of the downsides of making our opponent draw their entire deck is that if they happen to have untapped mana and are playing burn spells, they can potentially burn us out mid-combo. Pelakka Wurm comes down first to make sure our opponent can't steal the game with random Wizard's Lightnings and Lightning Strikes. 

Wrap-Up

All in all, we finished our video matches 4-1 with Overflowing Omniscience, but we actually had two duplicate matches that were left out, losing to Thousand-Year Storm and beating Golgari Midrange, putting our total record at 5-2. While the deck looks a bit strange on paper, it's actually pretty effective. The combo is pretty much guaranteed to win the game, which is a big upside compared to other ramp decks looking to win with creatures, which can be killed. While it's theoretically possible for our opponent to kill our Omniscience, apart from Assassin's Trophy, there isn't a lot of instant-speed enchantment destruction in Standard. 

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As far as changes I'd make to the deck after playing a bunch of games, the big one is dropping Silent Gravestone from the sideboard. While graveyard hate is nice, the problem is that Silent Gravestone actually fizzles our combo, since we can't target our Overflowing Insight with Gaea's Blessing. I was thinking that we could crack it first before comboing off, but in practice, playing Silent Gravestone is just too risky. Something like Deathgorge Scavenger is probably a better option for the graveyard-hate role in Overflowing Omniscience.

In sum, Overflowing Omniscience was surprisingly competitive, being fast enough to keep up with most of the aggro and midrange decks in the format and having enough card draw (and a good sideboard) to fight against control. Most importantly, the deck is absurdly fun to play! I mean, what's better than drawing your entire deck, taking some extra turns, and eventually killing your opponent by forcing them to draw their entire deck? If you like ramping, comboing, and drawing a bunch of cards, give Overflowing Omniscience a shot—it's pretty awesome!

Getting Overflowing Omniscience down into the ultra-budget range is pretty simple: we cut one copy of Nexus of Fate and the playset of Hinterland Harbor. While going down to one copy of Nexus of Fate might seem risky, after playing the deck a bunch, it might actually be correct. When we go infinite, we only really need one copy anyway, and while taking an extra turn for value is fine, it's not essential to the plan of the deck. Meanwhile, the deck can easily support removing Hinterland Harbor since we have so mana ramp spells. Just make sure to focus on getting the three Islands you need to cast Overflowing Insight with Grow from the Ashes and Circuitous Route. All in all, the ultra-budget version of Overflowing Insight feels pretty solid and not that much worse than the build we played in the videos.

This same build is also pretty budget friendly on Magic Arena. While needing seven mythics is rough, the deck makes up for the high mythics by only requiring six rares in the main deck. Unfortunately, none of the mythics are really cuttable: we need at least one Nexus of Fate for the combo, two Omniscience is about as low as you can go, and the four copies of Overflowing Insight are essential. Still, seven mythics and six rares isn't a bad price in the Arena economy.

The non-budget build of Overflowing Omniscience doesn't get many major changes—the deck happens to be pretty cheap, even in its optimal form. While there's probably some potential in a hybrid Turbo Fog / Overflowing Omniscience build, for our purposes, we stick we a pretty simple upgrade: adding one additional copy of Nexus of Fate to the main deck over Gift of Paradise and two Carnage Tyrants in the sideboard to fight against control decks in place of the Silent Gravestones. While these changes probably represent a slight improvement, the deck is more than fine in the form we played for the videos, so I wouldn't worry too much about upgrades.

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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