The Modern Ad Nauseam deck revolves around a two-card combo of Ad Nauseam and Angel’s Grace or Phyrexian Unlife that aims to win on turn 4. The aim of the deck is to ramp to six mana using some combination of Lotus Bloom, Pentad Prism, and Simian Spirit Guide. Once the player has six mana, they cast Angel’s Grace and Ad Nauseam, which results in the player being able to draw their entire deck without losing. After this the player exiles three Simian Spirit Guides to cast a Lightning Storm and then discards enough land cards to deal 20 damage to their opponent. It is worth noting that once the 6 mana is produced the entire combo takes place in one single turn. Travis Woo popularized another version of the deck, where after exiling the three Simian Spirit Guides, the player casts Manamorphose, generating 2 black mana. With the remaining mana (2 black, and one red), the player casts Death’s Shadow and then Rite of Consumption. The Death’s Shadow is sacrificed, resulting in the opponent losing 20 life. Death’s Shadow is able to become larger than a 20/20 because Angel’s Grace allows you to have a negative life total.
Sideboarding Against This Deck
How do you win against Ad Nauseam combo? Its worth remembering that this deck is a relatively slow combo deck that goes all out to combo on turn 4, but can occasionally take longer. Aggro decks should have little problem finishing the job before the combo is assembled, particularly creature based aggression as Ad Nauseam plays no creatures that can act as blockers. However, it is worth noting that Angel’s Grace can be problematic for burn decks and other decks that aim to win in one shot. Leyline of Sanctity stops Ad Nauseam decks cold, however many will include Patrician’s Scorn in the sideboard, which can be cast for no mana after they have cast Angel’s Grace and drawn their library with Ad Nauseam. Unlike a lot of other combo decks, this deck folds to anything happening to the namesake card, which includes discard or countermagic. Examples such as Twin or Scapeshift have alternate win conditions or multiple versions of the same combo. Ad Nauseam does not. If your copy of Ad Nauseam is removed from your hand or countered – you lose. Often you will not have enough time to go looking for another before the opponent manages to end the game. Travis Woos version features an alternate win condition in the form of Death’s Shadow beat down, but this is fairly weak. Finally, Ad Nauseam makes you reveal your entire library, so the opponent sees your exact decklist. Every single card. That means all secret tech or tricks should start in the sideboard, otherwise a good opponent will look through your entire deck when you reveal it with Ad Nauseam and see them. However, even bringing them into the mainboard game 2 results in them being revealed at that point – nothing stays secret for long when you play Ad Nauseam!
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