Hello,

I have been thinking a bit about a new-ish card that I feel like got a little discussion going but never ended up in a deck. That card being Scholar of the Lost Trove from JMP. After looking at a few different options for leveraging the free flashback ability I landed on the strange and probably inefficient choice of Splendid Reclamation a 4G card you likely have never heard of in the context of vintage.

The idea is that we trigger Oath on our upkeep, milling until we flip a Scholar, hopefully our graveyard is now stocked with some # of lands, with at least one Mystic Sanctuary and Field of the Dead, a copy of Reclamation and either a Time Walk or Burst of Speed. We will target Reclamation with the trigger from our Scholar, putting a bunch of lands into play and making enough zombies to attack for lethal. Since we are also putting a Sanctuary into play and will almost certainly have the requisite 4 islands we can put Time Walk/Burst of Speed on top and then draw it with our draw step to win the game on the spot.

The remainder of the deck is fairly stock Oath list with some disruption/protection and a standard pile of blue cards that draw more cards. The requirements of my chosen combo/kill condition mean that I am running fewer disruptive spells and cantrips than I would normally in an Oath list. I don't think it falls below the minimum needed to survive things like PO but it is close.

I'll be honest, this is both conceptually and practically worse than a stock Oath list, I am toying with it for the challenge of building something a little more unique. It works surprisingly well when it goes off, with the fail state being somewhat rarer and softened a bit by the inherent value of a free flashback effect even when it doesn't win outright.

As always happy to hear comments, suggestions or questions or to play a match.

Splendid Scholar Oath

Mana:

1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald

4 Forbidden Orchard
3 Tropical Island
3 Volcanic Island
1 Snow-Covered Island
1 Island
2 Mystic Sanctuary
2 Field of the Dead

2 Misty Rainforest
1 Flooded Strand
1 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Strip Mine

Oath "Package":

4 Oath of Druids
2 Scholar of the Lost Trove
2 Splendid Reclamation
1 Gaea's Blessing
1 Burst of Speed
1 Time Walk
The Fields of the Dead and Mystic Sanctuaries are part of this category as well

Disruption:

4 Force of Will
2 Red Elemental Blast
1 Flusterstorm
1 Veil of Summer
1 Force of Negation
1 Mental Misstep

Xerox Engine:

1 Brainstorm
1 Ponder
1 Gitaxian Probe
2 Preordain
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Ancestral Recall

Walkers:

2 Oko, Thief of Crowns
1 Dack Fayden
1 Narset, Parter of Veils

Sideboard

2 Soul-Guide Lantern
1 Pyroblast
1 Ancient Grudge
2 Ravenous Trap
1 Surgical Extraction
2 Nature's Claim
1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
1 Wasteland
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Oko, Thief of Crowns
2 Wrenn and Six

@nofuture said in Splendid Scholar Oath:

Since we are also putting a Sanctuary into play and will almost certainly have the requisite 4 islands

note that if you don't have 3 other islands in play before Splendid Reclamation, Mystic Sanctuary will enter tapped and you will get no trigger.

as for general notes on the idea, i think that scholar is a powerful card, but splendid reclamation is probably not, given that you want to hit not only specific cards off your oath trigger but to hit them in quantity.

other oath packages that rely on the graveyard exist, like sun titan. the number of slots those spend would be an interesting point of comparison.

I think this is brilliant. However I think we should be casting yog will or enter the infinite not a weird 4 mana green card.

@blindtherapy said in Splendid Scholar Oath:

@nofuture said in Splendid Scholar Oath:

Since we are also putting a Sanctuary into play and will almost certainly have the requisite 4 islands

note that if you don't have 3 other islands in play before Splendid Reclamation, Mystic Sanctuary will enter tapped and you will get no trigger.

Since Splendid Reclamation returns lands to the battlefield tapped, it will never be able to trigger Mystic Sanctuary, regardless of the number of Islands its controller controls or when they control them.

I think Eerie Ultimatum is often going to be better than Splendid Reclamation, except for cases where you can hard cast a reclamation. It brings back moxen, lands, planeswalkers, and even an oath creature, if it ends up in the graveyard. This will allow you to explore options outside of just lands that may work more as you intend them to.

The challenge with these more complex combos is that you usually want to try and find the balance between number of cards that are needed to make it consistent, and number of cards that will get in the way when you can't combo. The Scholar can provide a lot of value just hitting something as simple as a Time Walk.

This feels very similar to Demon Oath or Dragons breath Emrakul oath to me, in that you really just want your oath to win you the game right there.

Since in effect all of these strategies have a similar outcome, I think you need to evaluate the failure rates and how many otherwise dead cards you need to stock to win.

The two issues I see with this current proposed list as opposed to Griz or Emrakul are that:

1 - The fail states on those other lists are get a very large game winning creature and wait a turn, or maybe not even with Girz. With this list the fail state is you get a 5/5 flyer and thats about it, especially if its within the top few cards.

2 - A card like Dragonsbreath is not dead in hand in those other lists as it is hard castable for value, sometimes for the win. I feel like Splendid Reclamation is a dead card other than as pitch material since it costs 4 and requires other cards to make it have value. Likewise some of the other proposed big spells are similarly dead.

@protoaddict said in Splendid Scholar Oath:

2 - A card like Dragonsbreath is not dead in hand in those other lists as it is hard castable for value, sometimes for the win. I feel like Splendid Reclamation is a dead card other than as pitch material since it costs 4 and requires other cards to make it have value. Likewise some of the other proposed big spells are similarly dead.

Enter the infinite is about as dead as it is possible to be and still be blue while it is in your hand.

@botvinik said in Splendid Scholar Oath:

Enter the infinite is about as dead as it is possible to be and still be blue while it is in your hand.

I said the same of Splendid Reclamation. It's pitchable to FOV. Using cards that are otherwise dead as pitch fodder is not a compelling argument, especially for cards that you would not want in your hand anyway. Playing any of these lists and having a Splendid or Enter in hand is going to make it much more likely a mulligan which means they are far less likely to be pitch fodder in the first place.

@protoaddict

The quote you have there is literally me admitting that.

Ok here is the V1 list a proof of concept more than any belief it is good or finished.

4 Dark Ritual
1 Necropotence
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Lotus Petal
1 Black Lotus
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Timetwister
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Mana Vault
1 Time Walk
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Preordain
1 Brainstorm
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Ponder
4 Oath of Druids
2 Scholar of the Lost Trove
3 Enter the Infinite
4 Force of Will
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Hurkyl's Recall
4 Forbidden Orchard
3 Underground Sea
2 Tropical Island
1 Snow-Covered Island
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Polluted Delta

4 Leyline of the Void
2 Defense Grid
2 Mindbreak Trap
3 Ravenous Trap
4 Nature's Claim

If anyone tries or even tries a modified version of this I would love to hear about it.

@chubbyrain1 Good catch with the sanctuary, I think my brain shorthanded it to 'if you control 3 other islands, put a card on top'. I'm sure that there is a janky work around that would allow the deck to get a haste/extra turn on top with some amount of consistency to push through the Rec plan but as many other have noted it is a fundamentally flawed plan.

Additionally, I think that while Eerie Ultimatum/Enter and even something like a Yawg Will or even Past in Flames represent more powerful things to flash back they also require too many additional elements and have a high price/fail case. If we are choosing Scholar as the Oath target you are almost obliged to win the game on the spot.

I think that Rec is way more castable than any of the other spells mentioned, with the exception of Yawg Will and actual use a non-zero # of times.

Given my mistake I think that another option would be to go towards a more disruptive/controlling list and either eschew the Field of the Dead entirely in favor of Vault/Key + Mirage Mirror + Dark Depths with more Wasteland effects and W6 in the main hoping to control the game with land destruction and some counters and eventually land an Oath to hit a critical mass of free lands off of a Rec, an instant win the Vault or a slightly delayed one with Depths. Also lets you slot in Tinker + Blightsteel as another plan.

@nofuture If you are going for Vault/Key, you may as well just use Sun Titan as your creature and avoid the scholar shenanigans. He gets you the missing combo piece and is castable and gets back other utility things like oko/W6 as well.

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