Who doesn’t love a nice creature combo deck? Eric Hawkins and his team may have come up with just the solution to the metagame for this weekend’s Invitational.
Cryptolith Rite decks were a big part of the last Standard metagame. Rite gives you a massive mana jump to deploy creatures and activate your abilities. It also provides excellent color fixing, and there are few main-deck answers in the format. If your opponent boards in cards that can kill Rite, they risk leaving them stranded dead in their hand if you don’t draw Rite, if it isn’t necessary, if you have multiple copies, or if you happen to have boarded them out.
The creatures used in old Cryptolith Rite decks were great hits with Collected Company. Putting two more creatures into play would only continue to fuel the Rite further. With Company gone, you need a new way to take advantage of a deck full of creatures.
Eldritch Evolution was a really hyped card that hasn’t lived up to its potential in any format yet. It does allow you to play many copies of utility creatures with reasonable mana costs, and then run silver bullet creatures you wouldn’t want to draw too many copies of. How does having access to these cards sound?
Voldaren Pariah, Cloudblazer, Restoration Gearsmith, Linvala, the Preserver, and Noxious Gearhulk are all incredible in various situations, but you can’t realistically afford to load your deck up with too many of these. How about Brood Monitor?
Brood Monitor was the key piece to infinite combos in previous iterations of Cryptolith Rite decks. It still works here as all of the other components are legal.
With Eldrazi Displacer and Catacomb Sifter in play, a Brood Monitor allows you to create 3 Scions, sacrifice the Scions for 3 colorless, and use that colorless to blink out the Monitor with Displacer. This can happen infinite times, allowing you to scry an infinite number of times. With a Zulaport Cutthroat in play, this makes for infinite life drains. You can use the scry to find Cutthroat to win the game, or if you have your Cutthroat, the Sifter is never needed.
Eldritch Evolution helps to tie this all together. Loam Dryads and Servant of the Conduit can come out early to help accelerate and fix your mana while finding your key early creatures with Evolution.
All of these silver bullets also happen to combo extremely well with Eldrazi Displacer, which happens to just be the MVP of this strategy. Using creatures for additional mana means you’re only limited by your colorless sources, making Scions extra important.
Reflector Mage is another great way to guarantee tempo and lock your opponent out with Displacer. Duskwatch Recruiter is a great mana sink to use with Rite and help find your Displacer and other combo pieces.
The 4-Color Rites deck attacks the format from a different angle and can boast a pretty impressive matchup against decks like B/G Delirium. Finding uses for awesome cards like Eldritch Evolution can give you a huge advantage in Standard!