As Foretold has fascinated me since it was printed.
Having an enchantment that cheats out Ancestral Vision for free and produces mana every turn is just screaming to find a home.
Most of my Magic time lately has been spent trying to find the best deck that breaks As Foretold in Modern.
Today I have two candidates that push As Foretold synergies to their limit and are powerful to boot. Even if As Foretold decks aren't going to dominate Modern, they are still really fun to play and I highly recommend both these decks. It hasn't been the easiest journey, but the real victory was the cards we drew off Ancestral Vision along the way.
First up is an updated list of Foretold Turns.
I've written a bit about this archetype before explaining the basics and card choices, but feel like it has progressed a good amount since then, especially in the sideboard.
The true glory of the deck is the game states that end up like this:
It doesn't take long to craft yourself a glorious empire where your opponent can only helplessly watch as you take turn after turn and draw card after card.
Things don't usually progress to the point where you could cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn with As Foretold. Usually you'll just find a way to win with big awoken Islands bashing your opponent's face, thanks to your main win condition: Part the Waterveil.
The deck has such a high density of Time Warps that it doesn't take long before you are able to take infinite turns while essentially being assured you can't fizzle because you're drawing so many cards with Howling Mine. At this point you just keep using Elixir of Immortality to make sure you don't deck yourself, and then start targeting your opponent with Ancestral Vision until you deck them.
This can take some time, so be careful not to die from Exhaustion while comboing off. Remember to stay hydrated.
Dictate of Kruphix still seems worse than Howling Mine in this particular list, since you don't care that much about your opponent drawing cards compared to how much it helps your curve and how good it is with As Foretold.
I did often find myself wanting more Howling Mines though, especially postboard, which is where Dictate of Kruphix comes in. One of the ways the deck can lose is if you have to start casting Time Warp without getting any sort of value from it. Usually this happens if your opponent has destroyed your Howling Mines or As Foretolds. Dictate of Kruphix helps solve this issue when your opponent has more disruption postboard by just giving you a higher density of cards that work great when you're taking extra turns.
Next let's go over how you can expect the deck to play against some of the more common Modern matchups.
vs Grixis Death's Shadow
Grixis Death's Shadow isn't the fastest deck in the world and they have a decent amount of dead removal spells in the first game.
vs Eldrazi Tron
Keep in mind Endbringer untaps during your untap step, which means it can ping you every time you take an extra turn. This usually won't be nearly enough to actually kill you though, especially with Elixir of Immortality. Savor the Moment does conveniently skip your untap step as well.
Fast clock and cheap cards are not what we want to see, but it's still possible to steal games with Gigadrowse or a good start of your own when they don't immediately dump their hand by turn 2.
A bold new take on traditional Restore Balance that I like to call "Restore Imbalance," because of the inconsistency of cascade. You either cascade into Restore Balance or Ancestral Vision with Violent Outburst and Ardent Plea, instead of just Restore Balance.
Right now as the deck is built, there's a 50/50 chance you hit Restore Balance or Ancestral Vision if all things are equal. That number can be tweaked by cutting some amount of Ancestral Vision, or even trying different options like Wheel of Fate.
This deck kind of started as joke but has performed well for me so far. The idea of putting in cards other than Restore Balance to cascade into has always appealed to me.
Your first question about the deck is probably "Doesn't adding Ancestral Vision completely mess the deck up by making it so you sometimes don't cascade into Restore Balance when you need it? The deck is all about casting Restore Balance on demand!"
Sometimes yes. It will mess you up, but not as often as you'd think.
It's not like Restore Balance decks were crushing Modern previously, so changing things up and trying something new seems like a good idea.
Drawing three cards for three mana is nothing to scoff at. The cards you draw will often be more cascade enablers, a missing Greater Gargadon, As Foretold, or just (pardon the pun) cascade you into a win through card advantage from more Ancestral Vision copies.
The other aspect of the deck that gets improved is that As Foretold is excellent in the deck, probably the best card you can draw, and gives back a lot of that consistency that we were previously giving up. No longer will uncastable Restore Balances linger in your hand; you can now cast them with As Foretold as you please.
As Foretold is like a really good Borderpost as well, allowing you to continue casting spells after you've sacrificed all your lands to Greater Gargadon. I've always disliked having to run Wildfield Borderpost in a four-color deck with a low land count.
I've already cut down on Borderposts and increased the land count, but I might just go Border-postal and cut even more.
Restore Balance decks were previously inconsistent and glass cannony. With Ancestral Vision and As Foretold you have a higher density of cards that do things and are less reliant on just cascading into Restore Balance.
Fewer nut draws, but fewer draws where you do nothing and die.
The deck makes for artful board states.
There's something special about having no lands on either side of the battlefield deep into a game.
Or just having a turn one planeswalker thanks to triple Simian Spirit Guide.
Liliana of the Veils ultimate just isn't that great against two permanents.
vs Grixis Death's Shadow
Stubborn Denial is the real whammy card, since you kind of have to brute force past it once they have a four power creature in play. You do have a high density of "must counter" spells though. Not impossible to win, especially if they draw a couple dead Fatal Pushes.
vs Eldrazi Tron
This matchup is pretty much all about Chalice of the Void, since you're massively favored if they don't have it--and pretty much can't do anything if they do have it.
Chalice of the Void is one of main reasons I would want maindeck Detention Sphere, because otherwise we don't really have a way to remove it game 1.
Casting Restore Balance isn't always going to win the game, since they'll often have some Springleaf Drums, Cranial Platings, and a Mox Opal that sticks around and you'll end up discarding your entire hand.
Restore Balance is surprisingly strong against Burn decks, and a Simian Spirit Guide-boosted start is often fast enough to help you cripple them before they get you low enough to finish the job.
Fair and Balanced
Just writing this article makes me want to go play both of these decks more. They are both a lot of fun, and I've enjoyed tinkering with them. I doubt casting Ancestral Vision with As Foretold is going to get old anytime soon.
What do you think of these decks? Are the original versions better? Did I miss adding a key card?