Have No Fear, the Mindkiller is Here

"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

One lesson all budding combo players learn as they dive into the world of degenerate Magic decks is when to go for it. When do you take a chance and jam your combo, despite the possibility of opposing interaction? When do you wait a little bit longer, trying to find a better opportunity? This is an espceially critical lesson for Doomsday players, since there is often no recovering if you choose the wrong time. Fortunately, I have crafted a new take on Doomsday that makes this decision incredibly easy.

Just always go fo it.

Mindkiller Doomsday

  • 3Doomsday
  • 1Thassa's Oracle
  • 4Burning Wish
  • 3Echo of Eons
  • 1Infernal Contract
  • 4Spoils of the Vault
  • 3Empty the Warrens
  • 1Street Wraith
  • 4Manamorphose
  • 4Lion's Eye Diamond
  • 4Lotus Petal
  • 4Chrome Mox
  • 4Dark Ritual
  • 4Cabal Ritual
  • 4Rite of Flame
  • 2Simian Spirit Guide
  • 4City of Brass
  • 4Gemstone Mine
  • 2Glimmervoid
  • 1Doomsday
  • 1Tendrils of Agony
  • 1Empty the Warrens
  • 1Echo of Eons
  • 1Cruel Bargain
  • 1Grapeshot
  • 1Past in Flames
  • 1Cabal Therapy
  • 1Chain Lightning
  • 1Infernal Tutor
  • 1Hull Breach
  • 4Xantid Swarm

I'm sure by now you've looked at the decklist, maybe closed it for a second and looked again, praying it'll be different, like when you peer into the fridge at 4:00am hoping to see something besides the wilted lettuce and week old Thai curry you saw at 3:30. Perhaps you've uttered deep philosophical questions to the universe, like "What the fuck am I looking at?"

That's a question I can answer.

This is Mindkiller Doomsday, so called because your mind is dead now. I used to have a job and a family, but then I put Echo of Eons in my Doomsday deck and now I'm homeless and casting 3 Spoils of the Vault in 1 turn. I'm addicted to yeeting. I'm a braindead yeet-zombie and you will be too if you play this deck.

Why would you ever play a deck like this? If you have zero control over the death spiral of your life and have accepted that, then this is probably the deck for you.

Let's go through it and discuss the dubious deckbuilding decisions I've made...

Rainbow Manabase

Gemstone Mine
City of Brass

Your mana clearly needs to make and . It also has to make , at least from the sideboard, though previous iterations of this deck played Veil of Summer maindeck. Occasionally you need to make . Creating a reliable 4-color fetchland manabase on 9-10 lands proved difficult, and rainbow lands ended up feeling the most reliable. There are a ton of rainbow lands out there, and they are all worse than Gemstone Mine. After 4 Gemstone Mine, the only semi-reasonable ones are City of Brass / Mana Confluence, Glimmervoid, and Undiscovered Paradise. Pick the split you hate the least, it probably doesn't matter.

Burning Wish

Burning Wish

This is among the least dubious of all the deckbuilding decisions I made. It's the glue that holds the deck together, the thread of flesh between a loose tooth and your gums. Burning Wish has a long and storied history in Legacy Storm decks, especially the kinds that want to go fast. This is your main business spell, as it finds wincons and also answers. The sideboard is, apart from a small anti-blue package, entirely wishboard à la Belcher.

Echo of Eons

Echo of Eons

Like Burning Wish, this card has proven its power in Belcher, TES and DDFT. We're a Storm deck playing LED and we want to go fast, there is no reason not to be playing this card. It's an engine, a combo enabler with Doomsday, and a potential way to refill your hand if you get disrupted. We're going to ignore the fact that it also refills your opponent's hand, because they don't matter.

Doomsday / Thassa's Oracle

Doomsday
Thassa's Oracle

Doomsday is perhaps a questionable inclusion. Playing it kind of forces you to play Thassa's Oracle, which is completely dead outside of piles. Winning with it can be clumsy if you don't have a way to draw into your pile right away. But Doomsday does have some merits. You'll find it's suprisingly effective at winning through certain kinds of hate. We'll talk about it more later but it is a serviceable engine card.

Infernal Contract

Infernal Contract

This is primarily here to facilitate certain Doomsday piles, but it is functional as a Storm engine of sorts, the way Spanish Inquisition decks use it.

Manamorphose

Manamorphose

Manamorphose does a lot. It can help you cast Dark Ritual off a Simian Spirit Guide, or Doomsday off a Rite of Flame. It digs, draws into Doomsday piles, and even plays an important role in some piles. It may look like garbage but it is very important.

Empty the Warrens

Empty the Warrens

Having Empty maindeck provides another business spell, one that is particularly resilient to countermagic. In the first iterations of the deck, this slot was taken up by Veil of Summer, and all 4 Empty were in the sideboard. I realized that I was bringing them in a lot, and that it felt like having them main was letting me cheese more wins than the Veils were. This is up for debate and despite my yeet-induced psychosis I could be convinced that this is meta-dependent.

Spoils of the Vault

Spoils of the Vault

Ah yes. Saving the best for last. If Burning Wish was the flesh-bit keeping the loose tooth in, Spoils is the dental floss your older step-brother used to tie that tooth to the bathroom door. Spoils is the most powerful tutor legal in Legacy at this time. One mana, instant speed, and finds anything in your deck. Spoils plays a dual role as a business spell and mana. It can turn black mana into another color by finding Lotus Petal. It can function as a ritual by finding Lion's Eye Diamond. It can find a Wish or an Echo or an LED. It draws into and through Doomsday piles. It does everything you want and more, with just one tiny downside in that sometimes you cast it, reveal your entire deck and fucking die.

How to Have No Fear - Playing Mindkiller Doomsday

As you may have guessed from the Litany Against Fear at the beginning, if you play this deck you need to be good at convincing yourself that things will work out in your favor. And if they don't you need to be good at letting it roll off your back. You are a Warrior, your opponent is a Coward, and Cowards can't block Warriors.

Before we really dive in though, we need to get something out of the way. Spoils of the Vault works 100% of the time. It never kills you. It never exiles cards you'll need later. It can do no wrong. If you can't trick yourself into fully believing that, you'll never truly grasp the 200 IQ galaxy brain plays involved with this deck.

Now that we've gotten past that, let's talk a bit about playing the deck. I think the best way to do that is to look at some sample hands and think about how they should play out.

Hand 1

City of Brass
Gemstone Mine
Lotus Petal
Dark Ritual
City of Brass
Lion's Eye Diamond
Echo of Eons

This is a pretty straightforward Echo hand. No sense in waiting, just jam the Echo and hope your new hand does something. The only thing to think about is what mana you leave floating. I believe the best line is to play out Mine, then LED, then Petal. Cast Dark Ritual off Mine. Crack the LED for , and use the Petal to make . That way you can have floating after casting Echo.

Hand 2

Lotus Petal
Lotus Petal
Lion's Eye Diamond
Lion's Eye Diamond
Echo of Eons
Burning Wish
Gemstone Mine

This is an extremely busted hand, and among the best you can hope for against Fair Blue decks. You have 2 must-counter spells in hand, meaning you can go off through a Force, and you have plenty of mana so soft counters aren't a major concern. Play your land, cast your Petals then LEDs. Cast Wish, holding priority and cracking the LEDs for . If they counter Wish, just Echo. If they don't, grab Empty the Warrens for 12 goblins. You'll even have enough mana to still cast Echo afterwards.

Hand 3

Lotus Petal
Dark Ritual
Lion's Eye Diamond
Dark Ritual
Spoils of the Vault
Burning Wish
Gemstone Mine

Like the previous hand, this one has 2 business spells and is therefore high potential against Fair Blue. Play out all your mana. Cast Burning Wish, hold priority, cast Spoils, continue holding priority, and finally crack LED for . Now you have 2 business spells on the stack, forcing them to have 2 counterspells. If Spoils resolves, name Empty the Warrens, which is what Wish would get anyway. If the Wish also resolves, grab Cabal Therapy to shred their hand. 12 Goblins on T1 should get the job done, and Cabal Therapy will let you have a chance even against decks that could race the goblins.

Hand 4

Lotus Petal
Dark Ritual
Doomsday
Rite of Flame
Street Wraith
Gemstone Mine

The first Doomsday hand. We are pretty clearly casting Dark Ritual into Doomsday. Street Wraith will draw into the pile and we can have some mana floating due to Rite of Flame. What's the pile though? Prepare for the most breathtakingly elegant Doomdsay pile you will ever see:

SW in hand - , 2 life

Manamorphose
Manamorphose
Manamorphose
Manamorphose
Thassa's Oracle

Grab some tissues and mop up. This pile right here is extremely powerful. You can win with very little mana left after Doomsday. It also functions as a pass the turn pile that wins from just , without the need to include any extra bad cards other than Oracle. No Predict or Ideas Unbound. No god either. Only M O R P H O S E.

Hand 5

Lotus Petal
Echo of Eons
Doomsday
Doomsday
Spoils of the Vault
Thassa's Oracle
Burning Wish

This hand might look like ass but it's fine. This is where you recite the Litany against Fear. Spoils for LED. Echo. Invoke the higher power of your choice. Dab on the haters.

Hand 6

Lotus Petal
Gemstone Mine
Rite of Flame
Manamorphose
Manamorphose
City of Brass
Burning Wish

I think this hand is a mulligan, but it's close. You could try to make this a turn 2 hand. You need more mana to make that Wish useful. On turn 2, you'll have seen 3 new cards with Manamorphose. If you find a Dark Ritual or an LED, you can at least make goblins, which is fine on turn 2. But it's high variance, not guaranteed, and the deck mulligans pretty well. I'd throw this back.

Hand 7

Lotus Petal
Dark Ritual
City of Brass
Lotus Petal
Empty the Warrens
Burning Wish
Gemstone Mine

This hand isn't stellar, but you should keep it. It can make 8 goblins on T1, or 10 on T2, with protection in the form of Wish as bait. If you decide to make 8 on T1, Wish can later find Cabal Therapy to interact, or Chain Lightning to remove a blocker, or even Doomsday as a potential a backup plan. The route you go is going to depend on the matchup. If you don't know the matchup, I'd lean towards waiting until T2.

Reality Check - A Bit of Math Regarding Spoils

I doubt you were wondering "How likely is Spoils to actually kill me?", because you are a Warrior, not a Coward. But maybe you were anyway. Call it facing your fears. Let's take a quick look at the maths on Spoils.

I computed the average life lost and probability of killing you for a turn 1 Spoils from 20 life (53 cards left in the deck), for a 4-of down to a 1-of. I used a quick Matlab script to simulate 50,000 Spoils for each.


1function spoils(deckSize, copiesLeft, numIters)
2    avg = 0;
3    deathCounter = 0;
4    for i=1:numIters
5        cardsSeen = 0;
6        deck = randperm(deckSize);
7        deathFlag = 0;
8        while cardsSeen < deckSize
9            cardsSeen = cardsSeen + 1;
10             if cardsSeen > 20 ;
11                deathFlag = 1;
12            end
13            if deck(cardsSeen) <= copiesLeft;
14                avg = avg+cardsSeen;
15                %disp(cardsSeen);
16                cardsSeen = deckSize+1;
17            end
18        end
19        if deathFlag == 1;
20            deathCounter = deathCounter + 1;
21        end
22    end
23    avg = avg/numIters;
24    deathPct = (deathCounter/numIters)*100;
25    disp(avg);
26    disp(deathPct);
27end

Results

Num. CopiesAvg. Lifeloss% to Die
4-of10.7914.01%
3-of13.4423.02%
2-of17.9638.08%
1-of26.9362.25%

As you can see, you don't really want to be Spoiling for anything less than a 3-of, but even for a 2-of you are still more likely to succeed than to fail. Now personally I'd take an 85% chance to tutor up the card I need for just 1 black mana every time. Those are great odds. But over a long tournament?, you're likely to take some game losses from Spoils. Say you cast Spoils exactly once per match, always for a 4-of. The chance of uncontrollable game loss over the course of a 9-rounder is around 75%. Honestly that's better than I was expecting when I did the math just now, but I can understand why someone like a filthy Delver player might consider it unacceptable risk.

Now where were we? Right, being Warriors.

Some Dooomsday Piles

This deck is playing some cards that are not in any other Doomsday decks, so we should address how those cards affect piles. We saw one earlier on, the glorious Quad-Morphose pile. Lets look at a couple others.

LED on board - , 3 life

Spoils of the Vault
Manamorphose
Manamorphose
Manamorphose
Thassa's Oracle

This is a pass-the-turn pile, where you use Spoils to dig down to Oracle. This lets you potentially win through Mindbreak Trap or Deafening Silence. It is also quite cheap and can get through tax effects as well. If they counter Spoils, you can still try to use the Morphoses to cast Oracle the next turn, if you have the ability to cast them.

Echo, Spoils in hand - +

Lion's Eye Diamond
Lotus Petal
Lotus Petal
Lotus Petal
Thassa's Oracle

Spoils can be used as simply a cantrip into your pile (in this case a straightforward Echo pile). If you hit on the top card, you won't lose any life to Spoils.

Rite of Flame, Manamorphose in hand - + - 9 Storm

Infernal Contract
Lotus Petal
Lion's Eye Diamond
Lion's Eye Diamond
Burning Wish

Manamorphose can draw into piles as well, and can fix your colors to cast Contract if you want to win with Storm instead of The Glorious Quad-Morphose Oracle Pile.

Spoils, Spoils in hand - +

Lion's Eye Diamond
Manamorphose
Manamorphose
Manamorphose
Thassa's Oracle

A double-cantrip pile of sorts for when you have a shitload of black mana. You Spoil for LED, and then either Spoil straight to the Oracle if you have life to spare, or just draw a Manamorphose if you don't.

Matchups

When it comes to a deck like this, we don't care so much about precisely what deck our opponent is playing, but rather what they can do about what we're doing. Adding this to the fact that we only have 4-5 real sideboard slots leads me to the conclusion that its better to think in broad categories of matchups rather than a per-deck basis. As such, we'll go over srategies for each of 4 categories.

Delver / Daze Decks

Aggro-control and tempo decks, including Delver, Shadow, Infect.

-3 Doomsday, -1 Oracle, -1 Street Wraith
+4 Xantid Swarm, + 1 Cabal Therapy

Doomsday is uniquely bad against these types of decks so we just cut it completely. Xantid Swarm isn't spectacular, but its better than Doomsday. Therapy comes in as another protective spell. We're unlikely to wish for it, since Wishes will usually find Empty in these matchups.

Blue Control Decks

Force of Will decks that don't have a real clock. Miracles, Stryfo Pile, etc. I would also include something like Food Chain in here. It's not a perfect fit but your strategy against it is the same.

-1 Doomsday, -2 Simian Spirit Guide, -1 Manamorphose
+4 Xantid Swarm

Taking out a little bit off everything to fit in the full set of bugs. Doomsday isn't at its best against blue decks so one gets cut. We're likely to be going a bit slower against these decks as well, so SSG goes as well. You can get away with just 3 Morphoses, using a Street Wraith if needed instead for The Glorious Quad-Morphose Pile.

Prison-y Decks

Anything with permanents that want to fuck your day up. Stompy variants, Death and Taxes, Maverick, etc.

No Changes.

Most of the time, you just want to go fast. The best way to win these matchups is to not give them a chance to play anything. Obviously this will not always be possible. Doomsday shines in these matchups since you can win through some prison elements. The Glorious Quad-Morphose Pile can beat a Chalice on 0 or 1, pass-the-turn piles with Spoils can beat Deafening Silence or Ethersworn Canonist. Also keep in mind that these are decks that will often play Leyline of the Void, meaning Echo can be a liability. But a broken Echo hand is still probably worth keeping. Maverick could potentially be playing Veil, so be wary, but not overly so.

Anything Else

Burn, Dredge, Storm, Depths, Elves, etc.

No Changes.

Just be faster.

Conclusion

YEET