Living as Foretold
Well, it’s happened again, another sweet deck has popped up in modern and has put up a few results on Magic Online. I present to you Living as Foretold (name still pending). This deck is all about the interaction between As Foretold and zero cost spells such as Living End and Ancestral Vision. The deck is filled with cycling creature cards which combine very well with Living End and also help to find As Foretold as quickly as possible. The first result of this deck I can find was accomplished by 1310HaZzZaRd (MTGO username), so a lot of credit to that person. I also saw Seth (probably better known as Saffron Olive) streaming the deck and you can check out the replay of that on his youtube channel. Let’s have a look at the deck.
What does the deck do?
This deck uses As Foretold to cast Ancestral Vision to get massive card advantage. It also casts Living End to wipe the opponent’s board and return a bunch of creatures from its owneers graveyard to the battlefield. The deck uses cycling creatures and other cards with transmute ( Tolaria West) to fill up the player’s graveyard and search through their deck for key cards. To help protect the game main game plan of the deck (and also slow down the opponent) the deck also runs twelve counter-spells.
The Mana Base
There is a super simple mana base because it only contains one colour. Tolaria West is a blue source but you can also transmute it to go and search for a Living End or Ancestral Vision. Since the deck is only one colour it is able to run four Field of Ruin and a single Ghost Quarter to help contain any problematic lands the opponent might have. The only hard part is choosing which art you want to run on your Islands.
Creatures are pretty important in this deck because not only are they going to be the thing that eventually wins you the game, they are also going to be cycling and digging you deeper into the deck. Drift of Phantasms is a nice way to search up As Foretold and at worst it’s a fine blocker in the early game. Architects of Will is great to get back with Living End because when it enters you can look at the top three cards of your opponent’s library and put them in any order you want. This usually slows down your opponent just long enough to end the game. Striped Riverwinder and Curator of Mysteries are really nice finishers and both have upsides when they are in play; Riverwinder is very hard to deal with thanks to hexproof while Curator let’s you scry 1 every time you discard a card (part of cycling is discarding). The final creature is Street Wraith which is included thanks to the “free” cycling cost of only having to pay two life. Once in play it is a quick clock against certain decks thanks to swampwalk.
Once As Foretold is in play then the deck can really start to power ahead. Ancestral will always keep you ahead on cards and Living End slows down your opponents while also bringing a huge amount of power to your side of the board. As Foretold also helps cast the counter-spells when you are tapped out which can protect your board or your super important enchantments. It also helps cast the leylines that are contained in the sideboard.
Since the deck is so reliant on one particular card, you really need to protect that card at all costs. This is why there are twelve counters in the main deck. Remand and Mana Leak are the best options for two mana as they can slow down an opponent and lead to a huge tempo change. Disallow and Cryptic Command are there as good catch-all options. Disallow is perfect to stop spells but also any potential troubling abilities that might disrupt the deck. Cryptic Command is the perfect catch all answer, not only does it counter spells but it can bounce problematic permanents, tap down the opponent’s team and let you swing in for lethal and at worse you can just draw a card with it. There is also Leyline of Sanctity in the sideboard to help protect against targeted effects (Grapeshot, Thoughtseize etc) and Leyline of the Void in case you need to shut down the opponent’s graveyard.
This deck has a lot of potential; it is still very new to the modern scene so people will misplay when versing it as they are not used to all the interactions yet, however once people learn just how important As Foretold is to the deck then it will begin to struggle. BUT there is plenty of room for the deck to adapt and change, because it is so new there is no best list yet. There will be lots of tinkering and this deck could change dramatically in the next few weeks. It is always possible to add a second colour to help with bad match ups; you can just drop the colourless lands and the splash would be quite easy. I am looking forward to what comes next for this deck and maybe it is something we will see on the modern Pro Tour next year.