Gift Of Standards Past

Hi everyone and welcome back to think outside the box!

This Saturday marks the first PPTQ we have here in Scotland for the season and I am excited as ever! Why? some people may ask, to answer that, frankly, God-pharaoh’s Gift is in a good spot and could be good again!

After I first saw the deck online in Zac Elsik’s stream I instantly fell in love, watching these big angels fly back and gain an unattainable lead over a couple of turns reminded me of the Whip Of Erebos decks that I used to love so much. All the while listening to the ravings of some old prophet screaming from the rooftops:

Minister of inquiries is busted”

It had to be seen to believed. The deck was played in some numbers at PT Hour Of Devastation I believe, which gave it a pretty big target on it’s back, but it was still incredibly powerful. I played countless leagues and hours with the deck and could not put it down. I did though. Trying my hardest not to play it, as it didn’t feel right.

What made the deck now feel lackluster I believe was losing Insolent Neonate. This meant that draws were much slower and there wasn’t as many free loots also losing Thraben Inspector meant there wasn’t too much left for the deck to smooth draws or gain extra cards once the hand was gone. With Ixalan being released, more graveyard hate being printed, everyone including me believed that the gifts deck would no longer be a player. Brennan DeCandio top 8’ed the SCG Dallas open with a version of Esper gifts, so as I did in the past I looked to change cards and try to attack the metagame differently.

So what has changed now for gift to be practical?

The rise of Temur and the addition of Hostage Taker.

What makes this card better after you cast it? Casting the same one again! This card can be game breaking!

We also have the addition of Search For Azcanta.

Early filtering letting us fill our yard which furthers our plan or find anything that we need. I believe these are some of the reasons. As always, I have my decklist and I will explain how I arrived there.


Concealed Courtyard

Drowned Catacomb

Glacial Fortress

Fetid Pools

Irrigated Farmland

Ipnu Rivulet





Angel Of Invention

Cataclysmic Gearhulk

Champion Of Wits

Glint-Nest Crane

Hostage Taker

Minister Of Inquiries

Noxious Gearhulk

Sunscourge Champion

The Scarab God

Walking Ballista


Search For Azcanta

Gate To The Afterlife

God-Pharaoh’s Gift




Cataclysmic Gearhulk

Kitesail Freebooter

Fatal Push


Vraska’s Contempt


There we have it! Over 2 leagues now with the deck I am currently 8-2 beating temur energy 3 times, Token variant 2 times and control variants 3 times. My losses came from a tokens deck where I got mana screwed and a red deck that drew “the nuts” both games and I flooded.

I really do like the deck and believe it to still be very powerful, and as a side note there are many ways to build the deck! Now onto some of the card choices.

Glint-Nest Crane – I liked this card and wanted to give it another shot, a solid early blocker and can find the pieces we need: whether it be a gift to discard or a gate, i like this card.

Cataclysmic Gearhulk – This was mainly a meta call for online with all the tokens decks running around. It still can be very good vs temur and other decks looking to go wide. To mention, I think I may play the third ballista over the noxious. To be determined.

refurbish – To explain a bit, this card is literally an experiment it basically just gives more copies of the gifts and gates.

Trophy Mage – I do think it may be correct to play this and no refurbish. Like I said: just experimenting.

I do believe this deck still to be very strong and going forward would be a solid choice for a tournament coming up. Reanimating things and playing an end game that is quite hard to interact with is right up my alley!

I think now is a good time to mention something that I am very excited about! This coming Friday, if everything works out (we have some asbestos work being done in the house) I will have a video set with this deck uploaded for you guys! I say I am excited which I absolutely am, nervous on the other hand though. If anyone doesn’t know:  I am from the west of Scotland and have a very sharp accent so I will do my very best for everyone to understand as the accent is tedious.

That’s all I have today, what do you guys think?

Gifts still a player? Temur again too good? Let me know if  I have missed anything or leave any suggestions for me to try! Please remember to drop the Facebook page a like if you haven’t this community is only on the up and up and there ain’t no slowing the DeckTechs train!

As always my friends, thanks for reading!



Aaron "Ronnie" Brown

Aaron "Ronnie" Brown

Hi! I'm Aaron Brown, more know as "Ronnie". I'm from north Ayrshire in Scotland. I have a 2 year old daughter and a very supportive fiancée. I aspire to play magic for the Scottish national team and to one day play on the Pro Tour.

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