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Woo Brews – Eggsploring Modern

I am a night person. It’s not that I don’t like mornings. I just don’t experience them that often because I was probably up in the middle of the night last night. And when I do experience the morning, I was still probably up in the middle of the night last night.

If I am a morning person, I am a groggy one.

It’s not a matter of procrastination or laziness, as I thought in the past. It seems to be just how my brain is wired. For whatever reason I am most energized when it’s dark and quiet. I can finally concentrate. That’s when it’s easiest to work. 1 a.m.? Perfect time to write my article!

There are nights where I become franticly possessed and can’t sleep at all. It’s happened as far back as I can remember. It doesn’t matter if I even went to sleep at 3 a.m. last night. I might be up at 7 a.m. working on some project—a workout, a business, a song, a piece of writing… a Magic deck.

I feel most of my greatest ideas have been spawned out of times like these—times of sleep deprivation where rationality is on hold and creativity abounds. At the same time, putting rationality on hold is not always a good thing, and this kind of behavior can yield work that is as crazy as it is crazy. Crazy.

Breaking Modern

Last Sunday I was up at 7 a.m. The sun was rising and I had worked through the night. The project? Modern!

I believe that Modern can be broken. The format has been explored a lot, but I think there is something there, because the incentives have never really existed to break it.

Take the preparation for Pro Tour Born of the Gods next month. First, we have the PTQ winner types. These guys aren’t going to get a week off from work or school to prepare. They have been preparing this whole time, probably with their tried and true Modern deck. There really isn’t time or incentive to break it, when Affinity/Jund/Splinter Twin etc. are so good.

And then we have the Pros. The Pros do have the luxury of taking a week off to prepare for the tournament. The difference is a lot of the lead time to the tournament has been spent preparing for other tournaments in between. So when it comes down to the last week, it is time to lay the gauntlet. This is a good process that will produce the best lists of the best established decks. But again, there really isn’t the time or incentive to break it.

And then you have the crazies like me. They don’t care about winning the tournament. They might not even be qualified. They want to break it. They want to show everybody that there don’t need to be bannings, that Modern doesn’t need a shot in the arm from printings. That revolution can happen from within. Just because that is what we like to do.

So it’s 3 a.m., and someone posts [ccProd]Summoner’s Egg[/ccProd] on my wall.

And that’s how posts like this happen:

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 4.46.21 PM

The spoiler alert is that I didn’t actually break Modern and this was very much a 5 a.m post. My counterargument to the previous sentence is c’mon man! How sweet is the Egg??

[draft]Through the Breach[/draft]

My first thought with [ccProd]Summoner’s Egg[/ccProd] is that it is kind of like [ccProd]Through the Breach[/ccProd]. Now, [ccProd]Through the Breach[/ccProd] – [ccProd]Emrakul[/ccProd] was one of the strongest unbanned combos from the original Modern Pro Tour, and it currently sees play alongside [ccProd]Goryo’s Vengeance[/ccProd].

I like the [ccProd]Goryo’s Vengeance[/ccProd] deck. I don’t like that the card is not very good against [ccProd]Deathrite Shaman[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Scavenging Ooze[/ccProd]. These cards are extremely common.

If we focus on [ccProd]Summoner’s Egg[/ccProd] as our alternate instead, we can dodge graveyard hate and don’t need to put discard effects into our deck.

Instead of discard effects, we will need ways to crack our Egg though.

[draft]Phyrexia’s Core[/draft]

[ccProd]Phyrexia’s Core[/ccProd] gives us a land that can slide Emrakul out from under an Egg. However, the land is colorless, which is going to encourage us to keep our deck as colorless as possible.

[draft]Dismember[/draft]

Dismember is a great way to crack the Egg. It also doubles as a cheap, all-purpose, instant-speed removal spell that can be played off of a [ccProd]Phyrexia’s Core[/ccProd].

[draft]Greater Gargadon[/draft]

[ccProd]Greater Gargadon[/ccProd] works really nicely with [ccProd]Summoner’s Egg[/ccProd]. A turn 3 Egg can crack into a turn 4 attack. Gargadon is also nice in any kind of long grindy game, as the 9/7 will come off suspend, and who knows—maybe it will win the game.

So now we have:

4 [ccProd]Phyrexia’s Core[/ccProd]
4 [ccProd]Dismember[/ccProd]
2 [ccProd]Greater Gargadon[/ccProd]
4 [ccProd]Summoner’s Egg[/ccProd]
4 [ccProd]Through the Breach[/ccProd]
4 [ccProd]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/ccProd]

At this point we have to decide what our mana base and acceleration is going to look like. Are we going to try to cast our fatties? How fast are we looking to dump them into play?

Well, I remember the greatest breakthrough to our old Through the Breach Emrakul deck was seeing the deck as a race to cast [ccProd]Primeval Titan[/ccProd]. While other [ccProd]Cloudpost[/ccProd] decks were using cards like [ccProd]Expedition Map[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Sylvan Scrying[/ccProd], we recognized that these cards would never help us cast a turn 3 [ccProd]Primeval Titan[/ccProd].

So I figured we would want to play these:

[draft]Talisman of Impulse
Gruul Signet
Simian Spirit Guide[/draft]

Mana rocks and [ccProd]Simian Spirit Guide[/ccProd] give us the best path to a turn 3 giant monster with colorless lands like [ccProd]Phyrexia’s Core[/ccProd] in the deck.

This brings us to here:

[deck]4 Phyrexia’s Core
4 Dismember
2 Greater Gargadon
4 Talisman of Impulse
4 Gruul Signet
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Summoner’s Egg
4 Through the Breach
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/deck]

Now we need another giant Monster. Our deck isn’t going to be very good at casting whatever it is, so it should be the best possible thing off of [ccProd]Summoner’s Egg[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Through the Breach[/ccProd]. There are options of [ccProd]Blightsteel Colossus[/ccProd] and a lesser Eldrazi, but none of them are particularly strong.

[draft]Worldspine Wurm[/draft]

[ccProd]Worldspine Wurm[/ccProd] is a beast off of [ccProd]Through the Breach[/ccProd]. It might not force 6 sacrifices like [ccProd]Emrakul[/ccProd], but it sticks around as 3 big blockers.

Now, [ccProd]Path to Exile[/ccProd] can be an issue with the Wurm, but Path is an issue with all of our options here. At least [ccProd]Worldspine Wurm[/ccProd] has a little bit of insurance with [ccProd]Greater Gargadon[/ccProd].

Now we have:

[deck]4 Phyrexia’s Core
4 Dismember
2 Greater Gargadon
4 Talisman of Impulse
4 Gruul Signet
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Summoner’s Egg
4 Through the Breach
4 Worldspine Wurm
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/deck]

We now have 34 spells, which means we can use one more spell. We can also start thinking more about our mana base. Since we only have one colored spell in the whole deck in [ccProd]Through the Breach[/ccProd] and 12 red sources in our acceleration, we can play mostly colorless value lands if we want.

My first thought is the Urzatron, but I recall playing the Urzatron in initial versions of my Forgemaster combo deck. The Urzatron was slow and inconsistent with what we’re doing.

Instead, I was thinking some manlands would be nice. One of my issues with the [ccProd]Goryo’s Vengeance[/ccProd][ccProd]Through the Breach[/ccProd] decks is that those decks sometimes struggle to finish after an annihilator 6 hit. If the opponent isn’t actually dead it might take another full combo to kill them.

So I want some manlands to finish the job:

[draft]Mutavault
Blinkmoth Nexus[/draft]

[ccProd]Mutavault[/ccProd] is a Blinkmoth! Yeah, I love manlands. They give us the finishing touch. They give us some light action to buy time. They attack planeswalkers. They sacrifice to Liliana. They trade with small creatures.

[deck]4 Mutavault
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Phyrexia’s Core
4 Dismember
2 Greater Gargadon
4 Talisman of Impulse
4 Gruul Signet
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Summoner’s Egg
4 Through the Breach
4 Worldspine Wurm
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/deck]

We are now missing 8 lands and 4 spells. We’d like the lands to produce red because 12 is not enough. Twenty would be a good number to actually cast [ccProd]Through the Breach[/ccProd] consistently.

The question is what to use the spell on. It should pretty obviously be a selection spell. As is, the deck is currently, “hope to draw one of these, hope to draw one of these, hope to draw one of these, hope to draw some of these, hope the opponent can’t stop it.” We have good numbers of everything, so we’ll get there a lot, but some extra consistency is much needed.

Since we are playing red, our best splash option is green. Red pairs with green nicely with a Talisman and a Signet. Red also has [ccProd]Copperline Gorge[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Grove of the Burnwillows[/ccProd] as painless untapped red sources. This is significant, as a blue splash would require pain, fetchlands, and [ccProd]Sphere of the Suns[/ccProd].

So if we’re gonna splash green, perhaps the best selection spell is [ccProd]Ancient Stirrings[/ccProd]. The card can find us extra mana if we need it. It can find us a cheat spell in [ccProd]Summoner’s Egg[/ccProd] and it can find a fatty in [ccProd]Emrakul[/ccProd].

Now, it isn’t the most flexible spell, but 5 cards to look at is a lot, and red only has options in [ccProd]Faithless Looting[/ccProd].

That brings us to a 60:

Eggs Over Emrakul

[ccDeck]4 Mutavault
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
4 Phyrexia’s Core
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
4 Copperline Gorge
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Dismember
2 Greater Gargadon
4 Talisman of Impulse
4 Gruul Signet
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Summoner’s Egg
4 Through the Breach
4 Worldspine Wurm
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/ccDeck]

eggsrakul

Here’s the theory. We have a fast combo deck. We have a small amount of disruption. We have a fetch-free mana base that doesn’t feed [ccProd]Deathrite Shaman[/ccProd]. We dodge graveyard hate. We dodge [ccProd]Lightning Bolt[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Inquisition of Kozilek[/ccProd]. We have 8 manlands for long games.

All that is true but the reality is the deck is just not very consistent. Sometimes it doesn’t do anything. Everything feels out of control. I mean, all it takes is one topdeck, but what about when every single turn you are hoping for a topdeck. It’s fun, but that gets old too.

That’s the cold hard truth of the deck. It’s okay. It can win really fast. Sometimes it does nothing. Still, a worthy eggsperiment.

If you are inclined to put it together, here is the sideboard I’ve been using:

eggside

[deck]2 Cavern of Souls
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
3 Relic of Progenitus
4 Pyroclasm
3 Ancient Grudge
2 Combust[/deck]

Breaking Modern

Well, breaking Eggs might not be the way to break Modern. That doesn’t mean I’m wrong though. It doesn’t mean Modern doesn’t have cracks.

Maybe Jan van der Vegt, “DzyL” broke it. If you missed it, Jan was in Top 8 contention for GP Prague this weekend until the very end with his [ccProd]Fist of the Suns[/ccProd] monstrosity that he has been developing over the past month.

[ccDeck]1 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Breeding Pool
3 City of Brass
1 Copperline Gorge
1 Creeping Tar Pit
4 Gemstone Mine
1 Hallowed Fountain
1 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
1 Watery Grave
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
4 Griselbrand
3 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Sylvan Caryatid
4 Faithless Looting
4 Fist of the Suns
4 Goryo’s Vengeance
4 Izzet Charm
2 Lightning Bolt
4 Serum Visions
1 Thoughtseize
1 Through the Breach[/ccDeck]

This is a brew. It’s ugly. It plays weird cards. It plays junk cards. But it’s brand new and it wins. And that’s all I really want to see.

Point is, whether it’s [ccProd]Summoner’s Egg[/ccProd], [ccProd]Fist of the Suns[/ccProd], or some other trash rare nobody knows about, Modern is open.

topdeck

Good luck!

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