Thanks to everyone who took the time to cook up and submit a <10 Land Deck List for the 10 Land Brew Off.
The submissions are definitely getting better—better thought, better presentation, better decks. It’s growing harder and harder to eliminate and pick winners.
To make that easier this week, special guest Luis Scott-Vargas is making the hard decision. I thought everyone (including me) would be excited to see how he approached picking one sweetest brew from a surfeit of sweet brews, and thankfully he agreed to do it.
Pretty simple challenge this week: design a deck that plays as few lands as possible and gains as much advantage from it as possible. Let’s see what people came up with.
10 Land Affinity
One of the top Affinity players in the world submitted this 10 Land Robots list which looks frighteningly fast. The deck is actually very similar to an 11 Land version Dario Prazzoli used to Top 8 a European Grand Prix. This may be the most truly competitive list here.
Alex Majlaton 10 Land Affinity
This list is somehow even faster than the regular versions of Affinity. You can imagine some “LULzy” opening hands.
No Land Affinity
Why not try a no land Affinity deck? Check out this zero land version. Salvage Titan is especially interesting.
Stephen Robert McCarty Modern Landless Affinity
10 Land RUG Delver
Delver of Secrets is the perfect threat in an old school turbo-Xerox/super-grow-style blue deck. 10 Land is not a lot, but 1-2 lands is plenty. It’s not that low and the deck gets to draw straight gasoline as a result.
David Beall Modern Grow
10 Land Grixis Delver
Marshall Hutchings Death’s Young Delver
10 Land Tron
Does 10 Land Tron make any sense strategically? I really want it to. This list from 12-year-old Kirean In looks enticing.
Kieran In 10 Land Tron
10 Land Elf Combo
I’ve had success with 5 land Elf decks, so why play 16 in other versions? This 10 Land Elf Combo deck pushes the limit.
Richard Holtzclaw 10 Land Elf-Storm
2 Land Belcher/Maniac Severance
Thomas Fryer Selective Belching
I’ve been on a spree of mashing up decks, specifically mashing up Living End with other decks. This mashup of Living End and Goblin Charbelcher is a dream come true. I’ve never gone below 18 lands in Living End but that’s way too many and I could be easily convinced to run as few as 8. This is a must-try strategy for me.
Davy Bao Living Belcher
Blue Artifact Belcher
I’ve had success with green and red Belcher lists in Modern but I’ve been continually thinking about white, black, and blue versions.
Adam Gagan 6-land Blue Belcher
Blistercoil Weird Combo
There was a good amount of Blistercoil Weird combo decks submitted and one really piqued my interest. Karametra’s Favor and the new Magmatic Insight are tech to really push this deck. I have a lot of respect for the strategy already and it just got better.
Wei-i Wang 10 Land Weird Combo
Of course Manaless Dredge is a strategy to pay attention to, but very difficult to make work in Modern. Here’s an attempt at a grind-it-out dredge deck that is meant to build a Zombie army and convoke Endless Obedience for a game-winning threat.
Michelle Arf Modern Manaless (For the Most Part) Dredge, 4/60 land ratio
I can’t get enough of the mashup decks, and this Goryo’s Vengeance / Goblin Charbelcher mash looks awesome.
Ryan Hollingsworth 5 Land “Grishoalbrand Meets Belcher”
10 Land Quest for Ula’s Temple
When Travis asked me to be a guest judge on his column I leaped at the opportunity (well, not literally, but I did say “yes”). I’m a big fan of Travis’ work, and enjoy reading what he comes up with, so getting to make an appearance sounded pretty sweet. After taking a look at the very creative deck lists that readers sent in, I have determined a winner:
Steven Theobald Leviathan Quest
The only thing that would make this deck better is the inclusion of Lorthos, the Tidemaker, but I’ll overlook that glaring omission. What this deck does do is use a card I think is awesome: Quest for Ula’s Temple. Despite the absurd text (Kraken, Leviathan, Octopus, or Serpent!?), this card is actually very powerful. It takes a lot of effort to get it to work, but it lets you cheat on mana massively when it does.
What does the deck gain from playing only 10 lands?
I feel that this requires a good answer, since some of the submissions, as awesome as they were, played 10 lands to fit the requirements but weren’t getting as much value from it.
I do think this deck legitimately gets an advantage from playing an artificially low land count, which is that the creature density for Quest for Ula’s Temple is the full 42/60. That’s nearly impossible to achieve without playing such a low land count, and this deck is built to maximize both the Quest and Aether Vial quite well. The optimal draw is to play a turn-1 Quest and start charging immediately, with a little help from Sage of Epityr to stack the deck and Thrummingbird to proliferate counters, after which a Grozoth gives you access to as many Inkwell Leviathans as you need (and Phantasmal Image hops in to make copies of them).
The back-up plan of Aether Vial isn’t bad either, and between Sky Hussar drawing extra cards and Grand Architect plus Phantasmal Image making your tiny blue creatures not so tiny, this deck can definitely win games even if Quest for Ula’s Temple is lost in the deep.
Using a powerful but tricky card is what caught my eye, and the combination of creativity and power is what convinced me. This is the winner of this week’s Brew Off!
10 Land Brew Off
Thanks to everyone who submitted, and thanks to LSV for picking. Congratulations to Steven Theobald for winning $25 CFB store credit with an absurd Quest For Ula’s Temple strategy.
I’ve done okay with a control version of Kraken Quest, but this more aggressive Aether Vial powered version looks like a much more exciting approach. I may have to put this one together.
Do you have another favorite deck in here?