I didn’t end up attending any of the Modern Grand Prix last weekend, but for one reason or another they were quite the spectacle. While Bant Eldrazi seemed to be the latest flavor of the alien menace in the format, there’s another potent list that also includes some of the more powerful Eldrazi. If I had ended up going to Grand Prix Los Angeles, this would likely have been the deck I would have brought to battle.
Eldrazi and Taxes
I played this list a few weeks back during Modern Monday on my stream and things ended up going very well. It plays a lot like your typical Death and Taxes list. This particular version was played to a 5-0 finish in a Magic Online League by Vlaluk.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Death and Taxes, but I do respect the archetype. It has a lot of disruption, efficient creatures, and ways to cheat them into play to both avoid counterspells and act as tricks. There’s one notable difference between this list and a traditional Death and Taxes list: Eldrazi and the shenanigans that come with them!
Even with the banning of Eye of Ugin, I’ll still look for whatever way possible to play cards like Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher. In addition, you’re also playing sweet cards like Wasteland Strangler and Eldrazi Displacer. One of the best parts about the deck is that all of the cards are pretty good on their own, but the synergies are practically through the roof!
Tidehollow Sculler with Wasteland Strangler or Eldrazi Displacer is amazing, for example. Or even with a Flickerwisp put into play via an Aether Vial. Thought-Knot Seer and Path to Exile also provide amazing ways to get cards into exile to process. Additionally, Eldrazi Displacer with just about anything in the deck is insane, but it’s also great with opposing creatures as well. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to extol the virtues of the 3-mana Eldrazi, but this deck definitely has a higher concentration of valuable targets than most.
Wall of Resurgence is a new addition to the deck. I was running 2 Shriekmaw, but I can see the value of the Wall, especially when you so frequently want Aether Vial on 3. In conjunction with cards like Flickerwisp or Eldrazi Displacer, you can either make an army of 3/3 lands, or fewer very large lands. The Wall is capable of giving you a pretty steady supply of creatures, almost like a more resilient Blade Splicer that can also block extremely well (including against Tarmogoyf).
My biggest concern with the deck is being able to dodge Kolaghan’s Command. Being able to take out your Aether Vial or Tidehollow Sculler along with another creature is pretty solid. Having access to Thalia, Guardian of Thraben does make things a little more difficult for them, however, forcing them to spend 4 mana for the Command.
My favorite part of the deck, though, aside from all the insane synergies, is the addition of a sizable late game in the form of Thought-Knot Seer and Reality Smasher. Death and Taxes doesn’t usually have access to monsters this big and both of these seem to personify the Death and Taxes archetype as efficient creatures that come with their own built-in forms of disruption.
While the latest iteration of Eldrazi, Bant Eldrazi, made a splash at Grand Prix Los Angeles, one thing is clear—cheating Eldrazi into play earlier than they should be able to via mana dorks or cards like Aether Vial. This is still pretty big game, even (or perhaps especially) in the absence of Eye of Ugin. If there’s one thing that the Grand Prix and decks like this one prove, it’s that your alien friends aren’t going anywhere any time soon. And maybe that’s just fine.