The goal of all Magic decks is to win the game. Doomsday aims to do so by casting its namesake card and constructing a pile of 5 cards tailored to the current game state. While it would be nigh impossible to enumerate every game state and pile variation, these chapters are aimed to show you the basic concepts behind casting and winning with Doomsday. There is one primary win condition that is used in this version of the deck to win with and that is via Thassa's Oracle.
A pile in this context is what we use to describe the stack of five cards that comprise your library after the resolution of Doomsday. This is terminology that will be used throughout the Wiki.
There are three steps that need to occur to enable you to win (at least most of
These are as follows:
Of these steps, we will provide additional focus on how to achieve steps 2. and 3. as these are the first steps that are unique to the Doomsday archetype. Other decks like Omnitell have similar transferable skills in order to resolve a specific key spell however it is the pile construction that is often the trickiest element of playing the deck for newer players of the archetype.
The first consideration to make is how you will dig into the pile.
We will use the phrase dig to mean to initially draw into the five cards you have stacked with Doomsday.
The most common way to dig into your pile is via a cantrip effect. This is a spell or ability which draws a card upon resolution. Typically this is provided by one of the commonly played filter effects like Preordain or a free cycle effect like Street Wraith. If you are not under pressure you can also simply pass the turn to the opposing player and use your next turn's draw step in order to dig into the pile. When this is performed it is simply known as a pass the turn pile or PTT pile.
Once you have decided what method you will dig into your pile with you need to work out how you are going to get through enough cards that the trigger from Thassa's Oracle will win you the game. Sometimes this means having up to two cards left in your library on its resolution, other times it means needing to have no cards left in your library on resolution. The former is known as an imperfect pile and the latter a perfect pile. An imperfect pile is named as such because if your opponent is able to remove the Oracle from play prior to resolution of its trigger then you will not win the game.
In this section we will explore some of the simplest and most commonly used piles in order to achieve a perfect pile for your Oracle trigger to resolve.
In each example we shall present any mana requirements or card requirements followed by the pile as a visual display.
If we take the following example:
The cost omits that we require for casting Doomsday as this is an assumed requirement for even considering what pile to build. It requires for casting specific cards in the pile and the ability to cantrip. If the chosen cantrip effect costs mana you will need to add this on to the total otherwise presented. In the example of using Preordain as your cantrip you will need + .
+ Brainstorm + X
Sometimes we will use the terminology of X. In this instance X means having any single card in hand, irrespective of what that card is. An X card is normally used in conjunction with Brainstorm and thus is rarely cast but we will explore more of this in another chapter.
Here you can use a cantrip to access the Ideas Unbound. This allows you to draw the two Lotus Petals and the cycle effect. You can then cycle to draw the Oracle and cast it using the two Petals. Because this pile does not make use of Lion's Eye Diamond you can hold up cards like Force of Will or Daze in order to protect it. You can also substitute Street Wraith for Edge of Autumn if you are low on life or a Lotus Petal for a Cavern of Souls if you have a land drop available to you.
This is a slightly different take for people who wish to use Predict over Ideas Unbound. In this example you use your cantrip effect to draw Predict. You cast Predict to name the top card of your deck, in this example Ponder, drawing the cycle effect and Lion's Eye Diamond (LED). You cast the LED. You then cycle, hold priority, and crack the LED for .
Crack is a colloquial term for activating a mana rock like LED or Lotus Petal (LP) or for sacrificing a Fetchland like Polluted Delta.
Once the cycle draw resolves, you will now have the mana to cast Oracle.
Cantrip + Cantrip
If you find yourself constrained on the mana to cast both a cantrip, and one of your two mana draw spells but have an additional, useable cantrip in hand then you can construct what is known as a double cantrip pile. You use the first cantrip to draw the LED. Cast it and in response to the second cantrip, crack the LED for . This will then allow you to draw into the two mana draw spell and cast it to draw into Oracle and the LP required for the second .
In one of those examples above we have included a suggestion where you can include protection slots within the pile. If you have the available mana it may help you against opponents who are either trying to slow roll their permission spells or who are holding something like Stifle up.
If you are low on resources you can utilise the above pile using Consider in conjunction with Deep Analysis. Consider allows you to put Deep Analysis into your graveyard and draw the Lion's Eye Diamond. You can then cast the Deep Analysis with Flashback using the Diamond mana. This allows you to then draw into additional mana and the Oracle. You can replace Petal with Cavern of Souls if you have a land drop available.
Similarly, you can replace the Consider in hand with a cycling effect.
In the event that your draw spell(s) gets exiled, usually by pitching them to Force of Will or through your opponent actions, you need another way of drawing into your pile. With enough initial mana, regular cantrips and cyclers will do just fine.
If short on mana and LED becomes necessary, you can replicate the double cantrip piles above once again using the first cantrip to draw into LED, and the second cantrip to dig deeper into your pile while cracking the LED for mana.
Cantrip + Cantrip
The above pile is pretty simplistic but shows that sometimes the simplest route is the most effective one. With additional cantrips you can even include protection slots within the pile.
For any of the above examples you can reduce the cost drastically by using the free cyclers Street Wraith and/or Edge of Autumn. There are also some interesting tricks we can utilise where the card Brainstorm is one of the cantrips within our hand however we will cover those in another chapter.
Another option is the use of Deep Analysis if you have it, or an LED in hand. Deep Analysis and LED can be interchanged:
Lion's Eye Diamond + Cycler
As previously mentioned, a pass the turn pile or PTT pile is simply one where, instead of having a cantrip to draw into the pile in hand, you utilise your draw for the turn instead. There are many reasons why passing the turn might be advantageous or necessary based on the resources available to you.
Take the following example:
7 Card opening hand
On the play
Here we have a great example of what looks to be a combo ready hand however we cannot actually go off in the same turn with it. Even if we were to wait one more turn we still wouldn't have the guaranteed win unless we draw well and our opponent could play some interactive piece that punishes us for waiting.
Given we have some protection in hand already, it is probably best to jam DR into DD off of the Swamp and build something like what we have already seen in the examples above:
PTT + Cantrip
The first example is a Single cantrip + Predict example and the second is a Double Cantrip example which also allows you to hold up from your swamp to cast a Thoughtseize before committing Oracle to the stack. In this second example one of the cantrips involved is your draw step.
If you are concerned about additional permission from the opponent you could even consider passing the turn again if you don't feel under pressure. Instead of using LED you can set up something like this:
PTT + PTT
In this example you can draw Predict for turn, play your island and pass again. At the end of the opponent's turn you can then cast the Predict, targeting yourself and naming Street Wraith, to draw LP and Ponder. This then allows you to draw Oracle for your turn and cast it off of Island and LP with double Force of Will backup (with Preordain/Ponder as your pitch cards). You even have an additional available to pay for something like Daze. In the event of trouble prior to the Predict, or to protect the Predict itself, you have the first Force of Will available.
If you want to discover a bit by yourself before diving into more detailed chapters, try a couple goldfish games with the following proven list.
Alternatively, if you're looking into getting the cards here is a functional budget version: