The Grinch Builds Oathbreaker

Imagine the Grinch’s first foray into celebrating the Christmas season. He’d probably know to give gifts, but what kind of gifts would he give? The Grinch doesn’t know that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. Even in his giving, he’s looking to receive! His gifts would self-serving, like a creature that attacks its recipient! Or maybe even a gift far more malicious; A Phage, the Untouchable [] enter the battlefield trigger! Today, we’ll see what it would look like if the Grinch, who stole Christmas, built an Oathbreaker deck.

In my younger years, Phage, the Untouchable [] was the first card to blow my mind. I tried every possible way to “break it” but as you can see from the rules text, it’s a difficult card to break.

When Phage the Untouchable enters the battlefield, if you didn’t cast it from your hand, you lose the game.

Whenever Phage deals combat damage to a creature, destroy that creature. It can’t be regenerated.

Whenever Phage deals combat damage to a player, that player loses the game.

Thankfully, we have now this little gem from the “Happy Holidays” set.

You get the idea, right? Dig through your deck to find Phage, then cast Evil Presents [] to gift an unsuspecting opponent an instant loss. What a great gift! Think of all the things your opponent can do since they’re not forced to sit at the table casting spells and having a good time. Even the Grinch knows it’s nice to bring gifts for everyone. Let’s look at the (Evil) presents wrapped up for the others at the table, in this Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast [] + Evil Presents [] Oathbreaker deck.


This deck is centered around gifting your opponent creatures with Evil Presents [], and as you’ll see, the creatures are not nice. Here’s the collection of “gifts” we’ve brought:

Phage, the Untouchable [] Evil Presents [] plus Phage is an insta-kill. Just like your first day in prison. Find the most threatening person at the table and knock them out.

Master of Cruelties [] – This works with Evil Presents [], but it might be better to hard cast this and pick off a player with no defenses.

Avatar of Slaughter [] – Imagine gifting this to an opponent, then using Flamekin Village [] to give it haste! They must attack themselves with Avatar (because of Evil Presents []), and they must attack with their other creatures (so they can’t block). This means they’ll take 16 from the Avatar and be completely open for anyone to crack back and finish them off.

Emrakul, the Promised End [] / Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger [] – I wanted some heavy hitters that we can gift our opponents, or simply cast to end the game. These two carry the least liability with them. We don’t want to give them Eldrazi that have abilities like Kozilek, the Great Distortion []. Also, keep in mind, the Eldrazi with Annihilator are problematic since they can sacrifice the Eldrazi to the Annihilator trigger.

Phyrexian Negator [] – You thought Phage was a cute trick? How do you feel about pairing this up with Harvest Pyre [] or Blasphemous Act []?

When Presents Aren’t Enough

I didn’t want to strictly rely on the Evil Presents [] combo win the game, so I’ve packed the deck with other win-conditions that you can weave into your game plan. This first one maintains the spirit of giving.

Harmless Offering [] with Demonic Pact [] is a great combo because you get all the upside of Demonic Pact [] before passing it to an opponent for the bitter dregs. You can also use Harmless Offering [] in other ways, like setting up the Phyrexian Negator [] combo. Even gifting a creature and attaching Bloodthirsty Blade [] is not too shabby! Speaking of which, you’ll find that Bloodthirsty Blade [] is great for protecting another one of you win-conditions; your planeswalkers.

Planeswalkers can give you incremental value while threatening the other players at the table. These particular walkers also synergize well the rest of the deck. Chandra, Acolyte of Flame [] is able to flashback critical spells, while Chandra, Awakened Inferno [] puts the table on a clock. A very short clock for the person who just got attacked by Master of Cruelties []! Finally, when Karn, Scion of Urza [] is not filling your hand with cards, he’s making Karnstructs that are nothing to sneeze at -thanks to all the mana-rocks and artifacts we have.

The planeswalkers are not the only thing pulling double duty in this deck. Our manabase is quite sophisticated! We have a handful of lands that can return our Evil Presents [] targets to our hand. Bojuka Bog [] keeps graveyards in check, while Castle Locthwain [] can feed us cards. We even have lands that can close out the game in Field of the Dead [] and (to a lesser degree) Lavaclaw Reaches [].

There are a lot of things you can do with the manabase, it’s the part of the deck I’d like more time to fiddle with. For example, I love adding the Dark Depths [] / Thespian's Stage [] combo into Oathbreaker decks. Cabal Coffers [] is also a consideration, but I won’t know what’s best until I get some time playing the deck.

Merry Christmas!

That’s all I have for today. I hope this decklist helped get some wheels turning in your head for your own holiday brew! If you want to check out the other holiday cards you can find them here. And if you have an Evil Presents [] laying around, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to spread some holiday cheer Grinch style! Have a Merry Christmas and try to leave the mean-spirited-grinchness at the Oathbreaker table! Thanks for reading.