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Modern: Retooling Ad Nauseam

Today we are taking a look at a deck I think is going to gain momentum now that Splinter Twin is gone – Ad Nauseam.

This is, without a doubt, my favorite deck! Especially since every time I have played it my opponent seems stumped. Afterwards, they tell me they tested against a lot of decks but never figured to test for Ad Nauseam.  It really does come out of left field.

I came to know this deck at GP: Salt Lake City 2014. I was assisting in judging a Modern side event and watched a player pilot this deck. I was hooked!

I played the deck at a PPTQ this past July and did terribly. In my defense, I’d planned to judge the event and was not at all ready to play. When I got there, I found out there were too many judges on staff and they were scaling down. We were welcome to play in the event if we wanted to. Now, I am the type of player that needs to be in the correct mindset when I play or judge. I just couldn’t shift gears quick enough.

I have won several FNMs as well as taking sixth in charity tournament a couple months ago.

Enough of that. Let’s talk about how this deck wins.

Ad Nauseam is a combo deck. The key cards in the deck are Ad Nauseam and either Phyrexian Unlife or Angel’s Grace. While they are the key cards, this isn’t the win condition. Instead, it’s Lightning Storm. You get there by doing the combo.



Here’s my decklist



4 x Simian Spirit Guide



4 x Angel’s Grace

4 x Ad Nauseam

1 x Lightning Storm

1 x Mystical Teaching

2 x Silence

4 x Lotus Bloom

4 x Pentad Prism

3 x Pact of Negation

2 x Phyrexian Unlife

4 x Serum Visions

4 x Sleight of Hand

1 x Slaughter Pact

1 x Conjurer’s Bauble


Lands – 21

2 x Flooded Strand

2 x Polluted Delta

1 x Temple of Enlightenment

1 x Temple of Silence

1 x Gemstone Caverns

1 x Hallowed Fountain

1 x Boseiju, Who Shelters All

1 x Darkslick Shores

1 x Temple of Deceit

2 x Gemstone Mine

1 x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

1 x Island

1 x Swamp

1 x Seachrome Coast

1 x Tolaria West

1 x Glacial Fortress

1 x Watery Grave

1 x Godless Shrine

What I enjoy about this deck is it really doesn’t care what your opponent is playing. Basically, you do your best to get a Lotus Bloom suspended on turn 1 or 2, dig for your combo pieces, go off on turn four. Yay, win!

So why isn’t the deck winning all over the place? Good question. Being a combo deck, it isn’t exactly the easiest deck to play. You need to know when to hold priority, when to respond to your opponents plays and so on. That could be the big reason. Although, I would wager the biggest reason is the one piloting it. In this case, me. The deck isn’t as streamlined as it could be.

Against the now quasi-defunct Bloom deck, you didn’t so much worry about getting your combo in play as much as you did casting your own Pact of Negation after your opponent cast hive Mind and before they have the mana to pay the upkeep cost.

Against Twin, I could sit back until the Twin deck goes off then, in response, go off in response.

I should note, this deck list is several months old. The more I play the deck the more I want to make some changes.

So let’s look at those:

Change 1 – Add 2 more Lightning Storm. Possibly 1 in the main and one in the sideboard.

Change 2 – Add in two Spoils of the Vault. Take out 1 Conjurer’s Bauble and one Silence

Change 3 – Add one Mystical Teaching and take out the final Silence

Change 4 – All in lands – Rework lands to be 4 x Darkslick Shores, 4 x Gemstone Mine, 4 x Seachrome Coast, 1 x swamp, 1 x Island, 1 x Temple of Silence, 2 x Temple of Deceit, 2 x Dreadship Reef, 1 x Temple of Enlightenment, 1 x Gemstone Cavern

Sideboard changes

It should be noted I am terrible at sideboarding. It is something I am actively trying to improve.

Let’s look at the Sideboard in it’s current iteration.

1 x Phyrexian Unlife

2 x Peer Through Depths

3 x Echoing Truth

2 x Spellskite

1 x Duress

1 x Darkness

1 x Inquisition of Kozilek

1 x Patrician’s Scorn

1 x Hurkyl’s Recall

1 x Tormod’s Crypt

Judging from the looks of it, my sideboard is a hodge-podge collection of whatever I could find. Let’s see if we can fix it.

So we are going to keep the Patrician’s Scorn and Darkness. We are also keeping Echoing Truth. The question is, do we keep those numbers. I also think 3 Echoing Truth is solid. Patrician’s Scorn is good at 1. I like Darkness but think we should increase the number to 2.

So here is where we are at.

2 x Darkness

3 x Echoing TruthImage-1

1 x Patrician’s Scorn

We need seven more cards. I want to play around with 3 x Leyline of Sanctity. I am thinking of putting 1 Slaughter Pact in as well as 2 Silence. Let’s go ahead and throw in 2 x Lightning Storm. For the last card, I am thinking Esper Charm.

Here is the finished sideboard.

2 x Lightning Storm

2 x Darkness

3 x Echoing Truth

1 Patrician’s Scorn

3 x Leyline of Sanctity

2 x Silence

1 x Slaughter Pact

1 x Esper Charm

Well, there you go. A quick rebuild of the Ad Nauseam deck and I think it’s ready to go.

So here is what we have:

Lands 21

4 x Darkslick Shores

4 x Gemstone Mine

4 x Seachrome Coast

1 x swamp

1 x Island

1 x Temple of Enlightenment

1 x Temple of Silence

2 x Temple of Deceit

2 x Dreadship Reef

1 x Gemstone Cavern



4 x Simian Spirit Guide

Instants and Sorcery

4 x Ad Nauseam

4 x Angel’s Grace

3 x Spoils of the Vault

4 x Sleight of Hand

4 x Serum Visions

3 x Pact of Negation

Image1 x Lightning Storm

1 x Mystical Teachings

Other Spells

4 x Lotus Bloom

4 x Pentad Prism

3 x Phyrexian Unlife










© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.

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About Patrick Cossel,

I am a journalist and gaming enthusiast.

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