After Strixhaven unleashed the Mystical Archive on Historic, a ton of brewers tried to figure out the most powerful thing to do with the new cards. We are starting to reach the point where the format is settling down. There is one deck that has emerged from the scrum of new strategies, and one card in particular that is much more important to the format than many initially thought it would be. That card is Tainted Pact.

Tainted Pact is so important because it is one part of a two-part combo with Thassa's Oracle. There are some deck building constraints to playing this two-card combo, but that's okay. You simply need to be playing a deck with one copy of every card, except you can play two copies of your combo pieces, which are Thassa's Oracle and Tainted Pact.

How the Combo Works

The combo is simple enough. Mill your whole deck with Tainted Pact. You can cast the Tainted Pact while a Thassa's Oracle trigger is on the stack or wait to cast Thassa's Oracle until after your Pact has resolved. The only way you can mill your entire deck with Tainted Pact is if there are no duplicate copies of any card, including lands. Since you have presumably already drawn a Tainted Pact and a Thassa's Oracle, those were the only cards with duplicates to start with, and those duplicates are already out of the deck. Once you are comboing there should be a maximum of one Thassa's Oracle and one Tainted Pact still in your library.

This is very much a Splinter Twin sort of combo—in fact, I would argue this combo is easier to execute than Splinter Twin was. You can do everything on your own turn, and it only costs two cards, and four mana total. There are some deckbuilding constraints, but the combo itself is one of the deadliest two-card combos in the history of the game.

The MTG Arena Rope

Historic is played exclusively on MTG Arena, so it would be irresponsible of me not to also talk about the MTG Arena rope, which as it stands now can be unforgiving when executing the Tainted Pact combo. You can definitely time out when comboing off fairly easily. Clicking through to decline putting a card into your hand off Tainted Pact will burn through your rope, oftentimes before you can go through your whole library. There are a couple tricks to avoid losing the game to the rope.

Typically, if you do not successfully go through all the cards in your deck before the rope runs out, MTG Arena will finish resolving the spells and triggers on the stack. This means the rest of your library should get milled away from the Tainted Pact. This can be a bad thing if you don't already have your Thassa's Oracle trigger waiting to resolve. If you have the Oracle in play waiting to trigger though, that trigger should still happen, and thus you still win even if you do rope out a lot of the time. Practice the deck a bit, and you will better understand what I'm talking about.

How to Build Around the Combo

There are a few different directions you can take a deck with the Tainted Pact plus Thassa's Oracle combo. There are only four mandatory slots (two Thassa's Oracle and two Tainted Pact), and after that you can fill out the deck in many different ways.

The consensus though is you want to be a control deck. That way you are almost always going to win by executing the combo, but this allows you to dedicate most of your deck to finding the combo pieces, and disrupting the opponent. The most obvious build is straight two-color Dimir, as you need to play both blue and black no matter what.

This is what I have been playing on the ladder, but was first played by Admassu Williams to a 9-2 result in a 5K Strixhaven Championship Qualifier:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Dimir Pact by Admassu Williams

'Dimir Pact' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Admassu Williams

Event: $5K Strixhaven Championship Qualifier

Rank: 5th-8th

Historic

Market Price: $239.86

Cards

Shimmer of Possibility

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183375_200w.jpg

Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Godless Shrine

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $12.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182836_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W} or {B}.)
As Godless Shrine enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Drown in the Loch

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $1.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199207_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Counter target spell with mana value less than or equal to the number of cards in its controller's graveyard.
• Destroy target creature with mana value less than or equal to the number of cards in its controller's graveyard.

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Hengegate Pathway

Color Identity:U,W

Market Price: $5.63

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/229207_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {W}.

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Solve the Equation

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $2.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235658_200w.jpg

Search your library for an instant or sorcery card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Grim Tutor

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $15.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215341_200w.jpg

Search your library for a card, put that card into your hand, then shuffle. You lose 3 life.

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Dismal Backwater

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222604_200w.jpg

Dismal Backwater enters the battlefield tapped.
When Dismal Backwater enters the battlefield, you gain 1 life.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}.

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Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $4.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.92

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198683_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2} less to cast if it targets a blue spell.
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.

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Supreme Will

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226292_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.
• Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

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Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $5.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212282_200w.jpg

Companion — Each permanent card in your starting deck has mana value 2 or less. (If this card is your chosen companion, you may put it into your hand from outside the game for {3} any time you could cast a sorcery.)
Lifelink
During each of your turns, you may cast one permanent spell with mana value 2 or less from your graveyard.

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Brightclimb Pathway

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $4.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221817_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {W}.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196608_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Thought Distortion

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192531_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered.
Target opponent reveals their hand. Exile all noncreature, nonland cards from that player's hand and graveyard.

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Mastermind's Acquisition

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/155748_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Search your library for a card, put it into your hand, then shuffle.
• Put a card you own from outside the game into your hand.

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Thassa's Oracle

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $7.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206926_200w.jpg

When Thassa's Oracle enters the battlefield, look at the top X cards of your library, where X is your devotion to blue. Put up to one of them on top of your library and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. If X is greater than or equal to the number of cards in your library, you win the game. (Each {U} in the mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to blue.)

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Tainted Pact

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $11.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/9439_200w.jpg

Exile the top card of your library. You may put that card into your hand unless it has the same name as another card exiled this way. Repeat this process until you put a card into your hand or you exile two cards with the same name, whichever comes first.

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Necromentia

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215470_200w.jpg

Choose a card name other than a basic land card name. Search target opponent's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with that name and exile them. That player shuffles, then creates a 2/2 black Zombie creature token for each card exiled from their hand this way.

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Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $7.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187141_200w.jpg

If you would draw a card while your library has no cards in it, you win the game instead.
+1: Target player mills two cards. Draw a card.
−8: Draw seven cards. Then if your library has no cards in it, you win the game.

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Censor

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130042_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {1}.
Cycling {U} ({U}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Agonizing Remorse

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207044_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it or a card from their graveyard. Exile that card. You lose 1 life.

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Blightstep Pathway

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $5.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/229209_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {B}.

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Thoughtseize

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $11.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218934_200w.jpg

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.

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Yahenni's Expertise

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/125848_200w.jpg

All creatures get -3/-3 until end of turn.
You may cast a spell with mana value 3 or less from your hand without paying its mana cost.

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Cry of the Carnarium

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183061_200w.jpg

All creatures get -2/-2 until end of turn. Exile all creature cards in all graveyards that were put there from the battlefield this turn. If a creature would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Test of Talents

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235929_200w.jpg

Counter target instant or sorcery spell. Search its controller's graveyard, hand, and library for any number of cards with the same name as that spell and exile them. That player shuffles, then draws a card for each card exiled from their hand this way.

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Evolving Wilds

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/253706_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Evolving Wilds: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Zagoth Triome

Color Identity:B,G,U

Market Price: $10.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212691_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}, {G}, or {U}.)
Zagoth Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Scrabbling Claws

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/183220_200w.jpg

{T}: Target player exiles a card from their graveyard.
{1}, Sacrifice Scrabbling Claws: Exile target card from a graveyard. Draw a card.

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Search for Azcanta

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $4.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145370_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, look at the top card of your library. You may put it into your graveyard. Then if you have seven or more cards in your graveyard, you may transform Search for Azcanta.

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Augur of Bolas

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187183_200w.jpg

When Augur of Bolas enters the battlefield, look at the top three cards of your library. You may reveal an instant or sorcery card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

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Soul-Guide Lantern

Market Price: $2.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206867_200w.jpg

When Soul-Guide Lantern enters the battlefield, exile target card from a graveyard.
{T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Exile each opponent's graveyard.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Draw a card.

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Heartless Act

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212369_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target creature with no counters on it.
• Remove up to three counters from target creature.

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Watery Grave

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $11.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175205_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {B}.)
As Watery Grave enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Cling to Dust

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206655_200w.jpg

Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, you gain 3 life. Otherwise, you draw a card.
Escape—{3}{B}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

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Omen of the Sea

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206769_200w.jpg

Flash
When Omen of the Sea enters the battlefield, scry 2, then draw a card.
{2}{U}, Sacrifice Omen of the Sea: Scry 2.

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Duress

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248314_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a noncreature, nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

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Shadows' Verdict

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222137_200w.jpg

Exile all creatures and planeswalkers with mana value 3 or less from the battlefield and all creature and planeswalker cards with mana value 3 or less from all graveyards.

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Castle Vantress

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $2.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199284_200w.jpg

Castle Vantress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island.
{T}: Add {U}.
{2}{U}{U}, {T}: Scry 2.

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Ice Tunnel

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230110_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {B}.)
Ice Tunnel enters the battlefield tapped.

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Fatal Push

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218830_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature if it has mana value 2 or less.
Revolt — Destroy that creature if it has mana value 4 or less instead if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn.

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Radiant Fountain

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236602_200w.jpg

When Radiant Fountain enters the battlefield, you gain 2 life.
{T}: Add {C}.

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Clearwater Pathway

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $5.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221830_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}.

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Snow-Covered Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230149_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Pack Rat

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/66385_200w.jpg

Pack Rat's power and toughness are each equal to the number of Rats you control.
{2}{B}, Discard a card: Create a token that's a copy of Pack Rat.

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Thought Erasure

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175178_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card.
Surveil 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put it into your graveyard.)

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Fetid Pools

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $4.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129682_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {B}.)
Fetid Pools enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Extinction Event

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.63

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212261_200w.jpg

Choose odd or even. Exile each creature with mana value of the chosen quality. (Zero is even.)

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Pact of Negation

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $10.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233786_200w.jpg

Counter target spell.
At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay {3}{U}{U}. If you don't, you lose the game.

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Mazemind Tome

Market Price: $0.57

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215519_200w.jpg

{T}, Put a page counter on Mazemind Tome: Scry 1.
{2}, {T}, Put a page counter on Mazemind Tome: Draw a card.
When there are four or more page counters on Mazemind Tome, exile it. If you do, you gain 4 life.

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Languish

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216573_200w.jpg

All creatures get -4/-4 until end of turn.

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Riverglide Pathway

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $5.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221822_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}.

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Tyrant's Scorn

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188860_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target creature with mana value 3 or less.
• Return target creature to its owner's hand.

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Fae of Wishes // Granted

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199346_200w.jpg

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Wishclaw Talisman

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198745_200w.jpg

Wishclaw Talisman enters the battlefield with three wish counters on it.
{1}, {T}, Remove a wish counter from Wishclaw Talisman: Search your library for a card, put it into your hand, then shuffle. An opponent gains control of Wishclaw Talisman. Activate only during your turn.

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Snow-Covered Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230148_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Inquisition of Kozilek

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128476_200w.jpg

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it with mana value 3 or less. That player discards that card.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235543_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Temple of Deceit

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248800_200w.jpg

Temple of Deceit enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Deceit enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}.

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Grafdigger's Cage

Market Price: $1.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192909_200w.jpg

Creature cards in graveyards and libraries can't enter the battlefield.
Players can't cast spells from graveyards or libraries.

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Eliminate

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215516_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature or planeswalker with mana value 3 or less.

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Silundi Vision

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222102_200w.jpg

Look at the top six cards of your library. You may reveal an instant or sorcery card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Agadeem's Awakening

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $13.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222163_200w.jpg

Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different mana value X or less.

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Opt

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215840_200w.jpg

Scry 1.
Draw a card.

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Drowned Catacomb

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $7.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/142036_200w.jpg

Drowned Catacomb enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Swamp.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}.

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Cast Down

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226354_200w.jpg

Destroy target nonlegendary creature.

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Mind Stone

Market Price: $0.68

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243923_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Mind Stone: Draw a card.

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Bloodchief's Thirst

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221776_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{B} (You may pay an additional {2}{B} as you cast this spell.)
Destroy target creature or planeswalker with mana value 2 or less. If this spell was kicked, instead destroy target creature or planeswalker.

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Jwari Disruption

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222101_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {1}.

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Brainstorm

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243841_200w.jpg

Draw three cards, then put two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.

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Barkchannel Pathway

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $5.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/229210_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {G}.

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Whew! That's a lot of different cards packed into one deck. Fortunately, there are enough different blue and black-producing lands in Historic that you can get a manabase like this to actually work. Many of the slots are dedicated to card draw, card filtering, or straight up tutors. Naturally drawing both Thassa's Oracle and Tainted Pact is not likely without ways to find them.

We also have elements of a traditional Dimir Control deck. I'm talking about a mix of removal, discard, and countermagic. The early removal is important to stop the aggressive decks from running you over. While you can combo as early as turn three, more often than not your goldfish combo draw will be slower than the average Gruul draw for instance. This is why you need removal to slow down the aggression. A single sweeper can buy you a massive amount of time.

Hand disruption is also very important because you need to ensure that when you actually go for the combo and try to win the game, the opponent isn't holding a counterspell to stop you. Also, hand disruption is okay against both aggressive and control decks. You want to fill out your deck with cards that are generically good regardless of matchup, as you can't really afford to sideboard out too much.

A good portion of the sideboard is meant for Fae of Wishes or Mastermind's Acquisition targets. Not only is it nice to have this toolbox, but it allows you to fight through all sorts of disruption the opponent might have. If the opponent casts a card like Necromentia against you, now there is a way to go find a combo from your sideboard for instance. With a deck and sideboard full of one of's, tutors become that much better, as there are simply a larger variety of options as far as things you can go grab.

This deck also opts to include Lurrus of the Dream-Den. While including Lurrus isn't obligatory, it definitely adds another dimension to the deck. Oftentimes the opponent will sideboard out their removal spells, which makes the companion even better after sideboard. Part of the reason to play cards like Soul-Guide Lantern is you have the ability to bring them back with Lurrus for some card advantage. There also just aren't that many expensive permanents this deck wants, so the cost to include Lurrus is low.

Grixis Pact

I want to also present an alternative option for the deck, and that's adding red to the deck. Zan Syed took down the latest Hooglandia Open with this list:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Grixis Pact by Zan Syed

'Grixis Pact' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Zan Syed

Event: Hooglandia Open

Rank: 1st

Historic

Market Price: $292.23

Cards

Behold the Multiverse

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230140_200w.jpg

Scry 2, then draw two cards.
Foretell {1}{U} (During your turn, you may pay {2} and exile this card from your hand face down. Cast it on a later turn for its foretell cost.)

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Solve the Equation

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $2.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235658_200w.jpg

Search your library for an instant or sorcery card, reveal it, put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215723_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Erebos's Intervention

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206806_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn. You gain X life.
• Exile up to twice X target cards from graveyards.

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Thassa's Oracle

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $7.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206926_200w.jpg

When Thassa's Oracle enters the battlefield, look at the top X cards of your library, where X is your devotion to blue. Put up to one of them on top of your library and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order. If X is greater than or equal to the number of cards in your library, you win the game. (Each {U} in the mana costs of permanents you control counts toward your devotion to blue.)

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Tainted Pact

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $11.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/9439_200w.jpg

Exile the top card of your library. You may put that card into your hand unless it has the same name as another card exiled this way. Repeat this process until you put a card into your hand or you exile two cards with the same name, whichever comes first.

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Baleful Mastery

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235848_200w.jpg

You may pay {1}{B} rather than pay this spell's mana cost.
If the {1}{B} cost was paid, an opponent draws a card.
Exile target creature or planeswalker.

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Thoughtseize

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $11.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218934_200w.jpg

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.

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Underworld Breach

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $5.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206642_200w.jpg

Each nonland card in your graveyard has escape. The escape cost is equal to the card's mana cost plus exile three other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast cards from your graveyard for their escape cost.)
At the beginning of the end step, sacrifice Underworld Breach.

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Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $7.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187141_200w.jpg

If you would draw a card while your library has no cards in it, you win the game instead.
+1: Target player mills two cards. Draw a card.
−8: Draw seven cards. Then if your library has no cards in it, you win the game.

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Censor

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130042_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {1}.
Cycling {U} ({U}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Narset, Parter of Veils

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188705_200w.jpg

Each opponent can't draw more than one card each turn.
−2: Look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal a noncreature, nonland card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Supreme Will

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226292_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.
• Look at the top four cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

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Duress

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248314_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a noncreature, nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

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Bloodchief's Thirst

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221776_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{B} (You may pay an additional {2}{B} as you cast this spell.)
Destroy target creature or planeswalker with mana value 2 or less. If this spell was kicked, instead destroy target creature or planeswalker.

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Prismari Command

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $6.47

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233273_200w.jpg

Choose two —
• Prismari Command deals 2 damage to any target.
• Target player draws two cards, then discards two cards.
• Target player creates a Treasure token.
• Destroy target artifact.

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Evolving Wilds

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/253706_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Evolving Wilds: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Fae of Wishes // Granted

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199346_200w.jpg

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.92

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198683_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2} less to cast if it targets a blue spell.
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.

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Fetid Pools

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $4.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129682_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {B}.)
Fetid Pools enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Coldsteel Heart

Market Price: $4.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166760_200w.jpg

Coldsteel Heart enters the battlefield tapped.
As Coldsteel Heart enters the battlefield, choose a color.
{T}: Add one mana of the chosen color.

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Zagoth Triome

Color Identity:B,G,U

Market Price: $10.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212691_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}, {G}, or {U}.)
Zagoth Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Blightstep Pathway

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $5.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/229209_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {B}.

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Crackling Drake

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236188_200w.jpg

Flying
Crackling Drake's power is equal to the total number of instant and sorcery cards you own in exile and in your graveyard.
When Crackling Drake enters the battlefield, draw a card.

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Heartless Act

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212369_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target creature with no counters on it.
• Remove up to three counters from target creature.

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Fatal Push

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218830_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature if it has mana value 2 or less.
Revolt — Destroy that creature if it has mana value 4 or less instead if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn.

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Riverglide Pathway

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $5.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221822_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}.

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Search for Azcanta

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $4.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145370_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, look at the top card of your library. You may put it into your graveyard. Then if you have seven or more cards in your graveyard, you may transform Search for Azcanta.

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Snow-Covered Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230149_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Watery Grave

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $11.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175205_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {B}.)
As Watery Grave enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Thought Distortion

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192531_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered.
Target opponent reveals their hand. Exile all noncreature, nonland cards from that player's hand and graveyard.

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Spirebluff Canal

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $13.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/122672_200w.jpg

Spirebluff Canal enters the battlefield tapped unless you control two or fewer other lands.
{T}: Add {U} or {R}.

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Cling to Dust

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206655_200w.jpg

Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, you gain 3 life. Otherwise, you draw a card.
Escape—{3}{B}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

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Languish

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216573_200w.jpg

All creatures get -4/-4 until end of turn.

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Brainstorm

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243841_200w.jpg

Draw three cards, then put two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.

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Aether Gust

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192535_200w.jpg

Choose target spell or permanent that's red or green. Its owner puts it on the top or bottom of their library.

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Drowned Catacomb

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $7.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/142036_200w.jpg

Drowned Catacomb enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Swamp.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}.

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Narset's Reversal

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $5.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188708_200w.jpg

Copy target instant or sorcery spell, then return it to its owner's hand. You may choose new targets for the copy.

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Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $20.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206855_200w.jpg

When Kroxa enters the battlefield, sacrifice it unless it escaped.
Whenever Kroxa enters the battlefield or attacks, each opponent discards a card, then each opponent who didn't discard a nonland card this way loses 3 life.
Escape—{B}{B}{R}{R}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

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Storm's Wrath

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206714_200w.jpg

Storm's Wrath deals 4 damage to each creature and each planeswalker.

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Clearwater Pathway

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $5.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221830_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}.

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Blood Crypt

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $14.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182838_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {R}.)
As Blood Crypt enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Pact of Negation

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $10.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233786_200w.jpg

Counter target spell.
At the beginning of your next upkeep, pay {3}{U}{U}. If you don't, you lose the game.

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Sulfur Falls

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $4.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162122_200w.jpg

Sulfur Falls enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Mountain.
{T}: Add {U} or {R}.

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Wishclaw Talisman

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198745_200w.jpg

Wishclaw Talisman enters the battlefield with three wish counters on it.
{1}, {T}, Remove a wish counter from Wishclaw Talisman: Search your library for a card, put it into your hand, then shuffle. An opponent gains control of Wishclaw Talisman. Activate only during your turn.

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Inquisition of Kozilek

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128476_200w.jpg

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it with mana value 3 or less. That player discards that card.

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Augur of Bolas

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187183_200w.jpg

When Augur of Bolas enters the battlefield, look at the top three cards of your library. You may reveal an instant or sorcery card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

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Raugrin Triome

Color Identity:R,U,W

Market Price: $11.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212695_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}, {R}, or {W}.)
Raugrin Triome enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Silundi Vision

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222102_200w.jpg

Look at the top six cards of your library. You may reveal an instant or sorcery card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Crux of Fate

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/139805_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy all Dragon creatures.
• Destroy all non-Dragon creatures.

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Opt

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215840_200w.jpg

Scry 1.
Draw a card.

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Temple of Deceit

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248800_200w.jpg

Temple of Deceit enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Deceit enters the battlefield, scry 1.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}.

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Canyon Slough

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $3.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129681_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {R}.)
Canyon Slough enters the battlefield tapped.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Negate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222130_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell.

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Snow-Covered Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230148_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Memory Lapse

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118731_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it on top of its owner's library instead of into that player's graveyard.

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Valakut Awakening

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $5.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221774_200w.jpg

Put any number of cards from your hand on the bottom of your library, then draw that many cards plus one.

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Sweltering Suns

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130169_200w.jpg

Sweltering Suns deals 3 damage to each creature.
Cycling {3} ({3}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Mastermind's Acquisition

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/155748_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Search your library for a card, put it into your hand, then shuffle.
• Put a card you own from outside the game into your hand.

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Soul-Guide Lantern

Market Price: $2.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206867_200w.jpg

When Soul-Guide Lantern enters the battlefield, exile target card from a graveyard.
{T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Exile each opponent's graveyard.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Draw a card.

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Sea Gate Stormcaller

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221935_200w.jpg

Kicker {4}{U}
When Sea Gate Stormcaller enters the battlefield, copy the next instant or sorcery spell with mana value 2 or less you cast this turn when you cast it. If Sea Gate Stormcaller was kicked, copy that spell twice instead. You may choose new targets for the copies.

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Anger of the Gods

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.91

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145342_200w.jpg

Anger of the Gods deals 3 damage to each creature. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199035_200w.jpg

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235543_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Dragonskull Summit

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $5.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/142035_200w.jpg

Dragonskull Summit enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp or a Mountain.
{T}: Add {B} or {R}.

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Mazemind Tome

Market Price: $0.57

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215519_200w.jpg

{T}, Put a page counter on Mazemind Tome: Scry 1.
{2}, {T}, Put a page counter on Mazemind Tome: Draw a card.
When there are four or more page counters on Mazemind Tome, exile it. If you do, you gain 4 life.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196608_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Steam Vents

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $14.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175202_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {R}.)
As Steam Vents enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Legion's End

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192565_200w.jpg

Exile target creature an opponent controls with mana value 2 or less and all other creatures that player controls with the same name as that creature. Then that player reveals their hand and exiles all cards with that name from their hand and graveyard.

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Disdainful Stroke

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230900_200w.jpg

Counter target spell with mana value 4 or greater.

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This version doesn't play Lurrus, but you do get powerful planeswalkers in exchange. Also, it becomes possible to access red creatures like Bonecrusher Giant and Crackling Drake. These creatures give you a viable plan to actually win by attacking if all else fails. The mana is a bit worse when adding the third color, but not drastically so. The issue is that this deck is trying to cast double-red cards like Anger of the Gods and Sweltering Suns, so you really do need to have two red sources.

There clearly are plenty of solid red cards that you can add into the deck, and I don't think the decision of which version is better is an obvious one. Zan has done very well with the Grixis version, but I think the more popular way to go is still being just two colors.

Will Tainted Pact Be Banned?

I hate to ask a question like this in what seems like early days in this new Historic format, but an easy-to-cast two-card combo that wins you the game is inevitably going to raise some questions in the back of many people's minds. Is the Tainted Pact combo better than Inverter combo for instance? Inverter of Truth eventually got banned from Pioneer, and Tainted Pact is a very similar deck. Time will tell, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if it turns out Historic can't handle this sort of combo deck.