I couldn't tell you where I was when I met Scott Bunnell. After a while, all the tournaments blend together, so separating them is difficult. At first, he was one of many people to approach me to say they are fans of either a piece of content I did or a deck I played. But over time, it became clear that Scott was serious about getting better, following up with me with more pointed questions about decks or play patterns.
Like many, I was saddened by the news of his loss last week from an automobile accident. Magic can be a shelter from the woes of real life, but this shattered that bubble for me, so I'm proud to show off Scott's last project, which he took to an IQ Top 8 weeks before his passing: an innovative take on the Taking Turns deck that abuses As Foretold.
Typically a mana-intensive combo, As Foretold lets you eventually build to the point where you're casting your time walks for free, letting you use your other mana to cast Howling Mine, cantrips, or activating your various utility lands. Its spot on the curve means that you have to sacrifice the draw power of Dictate of Kruphix to fit it, but conveniently, As Foretold offers a great replacement for that in Ancestral Vision.
Playing an As Foretold on turn 3 followed by an Ancestral is a common line, and one that sets you up to make critical land drops four and five in a necessarily mana light deck. Once you set up to go off on turn 5, you are using it to cast some cantrips or a Howling Mine, and soon it's fully charged and netting you much more than a card of value per turn.
The presence of Ancestral Vision lets you add more utility to your manabase with Tolaria West, which can also tutor for singleton copies of Restore Balance and Living End for some needed interaction against creature decks. A well-timed sweeper can buy you multiple turns, which for a slower combo deck is game-breaking.
The other innovation is Savor the Moment, which would normally stop the combo in its tracks, but due to As Foretold, you have the means to continue your Time Walk loop without untapping, so the three-mana effect is very valuable for letting you land a key set up card for later turns or simply Explore in the early-game for a burst of speed.
You went out on a high note, buddy.
For those of you in the Ohio area, there will be a memorial tournament for Scott next weekend, the details of which can be found here. One of the greatest and most humbling aspects of this community is how we rally around each other in the worst of times. Please consider attending if you can.