Near-Death Experience

I seek out Near-Death Experience daily.

I’m drawn to look over ledges.


To hike cliff sides and peer into crashing waves.


To climb trees to get a bird’s-eye view.


One slip could be fatal. An ill-timed head rush, dose of vertigo, or misplaced foot and my time could come.

But this daily ritual makes my life better. No better place to contemplate life than perched on the verge of death.

Near-Death Experience

Near-Death Experience is better when it is under your control.

I have had some close calls of random chance and those have been terrifying. When life and death are out of your control it brings about a feeling of powerlessness.

But when your view of the other side is under your own control there’s a calmness to it. After all, it’s not actually that risky—it may be your last life, but it is safely under your control.

So if we are going to build with Near-Death Experience it makes sense to build an extremely defensive control shell so that we can experience Near-Death under the safest, most controlled circumstances.

We don’t want to leave death too much up to matters outside of our hands. We want to be in control.

A white fortress/prison strategy works well for getting us to our “safe” place.

Enchantments build our defensive position—we can protect ourselves from an opposing threat—whether they are creatures, burn, discard, or combos. White offers something for each of these.

Porphyry Nodes, Journey to Nowhere, Runed Halo, Ghostly Prison, and Sphere of Safety protect us from all kinds of dangerous creature threats.

Greater Auramancy, Runed Halo, Nevermore, and Leyline of Sanctity can protect us from otherwise lethal spells.

Suppression Field buys us lots of time, slowing down fetchlands, planeswalkers, and creature abilities.

Nykthos is an awesome mana ramper, drawing off of our devotion to white to ramp us all the way to 7 for Enduring Ideal.

Enduring Ideal is the perfect way to set up our Near-Death Experience position.

We can pull Sphere of Safety to lock down the board, Leyline of Sanctity to protect us, Oblivion Ring to stop specific threats, and Nevermore plus Greater Auramancy to make us untouchable.

Turn after turn our situation becomes more protected, more untouchable, safer and safer to experience Near-Death.

From here we can draw pain from the lands to work our life total all the way to the brink of death.

Now, standing on the ledge at 1 life, Near-Death experienced, was it really that dangerous?


I recommend this Near-Death Experience deck to players with a controlling inclination who want to use cards to gain some perspective on the edge between life and death.

You could play this strategy as a pure white deck, or with a splash of blue. Blue offers some nice additional consistency in what is otherwise a deck that relies on topdecks.


When attacking specific decks in a metagame, white always has great options.

Rest in Peace and Stony Silence shut down graveyard and artifact-based decks. Additional Leylines and creature removal protect us from certain strategies.

Dovescape can totally protect us when combined with Sphere of Safety.

Countermagic can make it hard for us to get set up, but Boseiju, Defense Grid, and Nevermore can clear the way for Enduring Ideal, and once it gets through we can ride our epic sorcery all the way to victory.

Near-Death Experience

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Near-Death Experience Brew Off. There were many inspiring ideas of how to make use of this card, and I drew ideas from all of you in building this deck.

I hope you find this deckbuilding exercise useful. After all, Near-Death Experience symbolizes a lot more than a small piece of cardboard.

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