Last updated on August 5, 2021

Tibalt's Trickery - Illustration by Anna Podedworna

Tibalt’s Trickery | Illustration by Anna Podedworna

Today we’re going to cover the shortest deck tech in Draftsim history, revolving around one broken card that can do busted things at the cost of consistency. Don’t expect to go into the top tiers of Mythic with this, but if you’re looking for some quick wins to get your dailies done, this meme-tastic deck is for you.

You may have seen this deck covered on many YouTube channels. I nearly covered it myself before deciding this is too filthy even for my standards. Tibalt’s Trickery OTK is as degenerate as it goes and a true example of what happens when WotC doesn’t write a “your opponent’s” clause.

The Deck

Creature (4)

Stonecoil Serpent x4

Sorcery (8)

Tibalt’s Trickery x4
Tormod’s Crypt x4

Land (24)

Mountain x24

Everything Else (24)

Your Favorite High Cost Jank x24

The Strategy

Tormod's Crypt - Illustration Lars Grant-West

Tormod’s Crypt | Illustration Lars Grant-West

Yes, you read that right, 24 of any card! Blue cards, black cards, white cards, green cards. Slam them all into this deck, and you’ll be fine.

The deck works like this: on turn 2, you want to counter one of your 0-cost cards with Tibalt’s Trickery. You do this by hitting Ctrl plus Shift to hold priority, casting the 0-mana card, and then using Trickery to counter it. Now the fun starts.

You mill a few cards, then Trickery reveals cards off the top of your deck until you find one with a different name than the 0-cost you countered. Is that an 8-mana Ugin, the Spirit Dragon? Congratulations, you just got yourself a turn 2 Ugin. Good luck, opponent!

Is it, I don’t know, an Emerging Ultimatum? Well, go fetch yourself three cards from the deck, like a different Ultimatum? Genesis Ultimatum perhaps? As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

Some cool cards I personally like to put in my Tibalt’s Jankery deck are Fiery Emancipation with a bunch of Chandra planeswalkers to deal damage. This one has a “back up” win condition if your Trickery plan fails by just hard casting the planeswalkers. Emerging Ultimatum with a ton of high mana jank like Kiora Bests the Sea God is another option.

Needless to say, go into your collection, sort by 5+ mana, and start slapping cards in there that have no business being on the field on turn 2.

Mulligan Rules

Mountain (Strixhaven) - Illustration by Grady Frederick

Mountain (Strixhaven) – Illustration by Grady Frederick

Here it goes:

  1. Have two Mountains;
  2. Have Tibalt’s Trickery;
  3. Have either Stonecoil Serpent or Tormod’s Crypt.

A perfect hand has two lands, two 0-mana cards, and two Trickerys. You’ll end up using your mulligan at least twice most of the time.

If you do mulligan four times, it’s better to keep Trickery plus a 0-mana card and just one land. Your odds of drawing a second land are pretty decent; finding another combo piece less so. I sometimes mulligan five times and just keep the combo pieces and zero lands. It’s okay to combo off on turn 3 or 4 instead of 2. Getting an 8 CMC planeswalker on the field is still better than whatever your opponent is doing. As long they aren’t Sultai.

Please go away, Sultai.

The Deck’s Weakness

Stonecoil Serpent - Illustration by Mark Poole

Stonecoil Serpent | Illustration by Mark Poole

As fun as Tibalt’s Trickery is, things can go downhill very quickly.

  1. Your opponent is a blue mage. They counter your Trickery, and now you’re stuck with a hand that does nothing.
  2. You mulligan, mulligan, mulligan, but never find the Trickery plus a 0-mana card at the same time.
  3. You have the combo, counter your 0-mana card, but then end up finding the other 0-value card on top.

All in all, I’d say this deck has about a 50% win rate. You can have big winning streaks but also a lot of losing streaks just as frequently. You could technically play this deck in Historic but keep in mind in that format you’ll have problem #4: Thoughtseize. They can strip a combo piece from your hand before you can go off. And even then, Historic is so fast paced that you might lose before you can even make good use of your goodies.

Playing Tibalt’s Trickery in BO3

Don’t. Too many cards stop this strategy post-sideboard. Go feast on BO1 tears instead.

In Conclusion…

Mountain (Jumpstart) - Illustration by Titus Lunter

Mountain (Jumpstart) – Illustration by Titus Lunter

This deck is entertaining… For you. It promotes zero interaction or back and forth gameplay. You’re simply going into the game, spinning the wheel of fortune in the mulligan step a few times, and then either going big or going home.

Lots of opponents will salt rope you. Many will scoop the moment Trickery resolves (despite it possibly failing). In my opinion, Tibalt’s Trickery should have been banned, not because it’s meta warping, but because the games it does go off, it turns MTG into Yu-Gi-Oh!

Anyways, have fun grinding the lower tiers of the ladder and spiking some in-game events! Regardless, please leave all your angry comments down below.

1 Comment

  • brazzy April 24, 2021 12:34 am

    This is a pretty disappointing analysis.

    Why 24 lands? With 18 lands you can put in more good stuff, still get two lands and have better chances to not hit another tibalt/0 mana spell.

    You also need scry lands. You do nothing on your first turn, why not improving the chances to find a missing combo piece. I am running an even split.

    It would be really nice to cast genesis ultimatum from emergent ultimatum, but that is probably the reason why you can only fetch monocoloured cards.

    I totally disagree on the assumption, that standard would be better than historic. Historic is the place to be for this deck. While it is true that you lose against thoughtseize, there are also way less counterspells. And more importantly you can run way more serious threads. The kind your opponent can not just throw heartless act at. That is in fact the main problem for the deck in standard, most of the time when your combo goes off you hit a big creature and it eats some removal. Since this was pretty much your only chance of winning, it is game over.

    In historic however, when you hit the board (ulamog, omniscience & co) you win almost everytime. Brazzen borrower is a nightmare, but he is also way more popular in standard then historic.

    Best use in standard for this deck is farming daily wins. But since you mostly get matched against other trickery players in unranked, it is not faster than rdw.

    I do not think that you can reach high mythic with this deck, but it is absolutely possible to reach mythic in historic. I peaked at #850 last month.

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