Clash of the Titans

Faithless Brewing, Episode 41: Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

 

Kroxa made his case last week for early release from the underworld of Theros, taking a bite out of the competition in both Modern and Pioneer. The hungry fellow has been making inroads into 5-0 lists, but has yet to enjoy the success of his greener, bluer, more wrathful sibling. This week, the clash of the titans comes to a head, as we pit our results with Kroxa against new lists featuring Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath.

 

Already boasting a Players Tour championship, Uro seems to have all the makings of a multi-format star. Simic colors? Check. Useful in many strategies? Check. Mythic rare, costs 1UG, rapidly increasing in price? Check, check, and check. Three letter name, two of which are vowels, followed by a title description? Welcome to my decklist, Oko left the seat warm for you.

 

There's no denying that Uro is a powerful and wildly successful card. Unlike Kroxa, Uro's draw and lifegain abilities create both time and resources to play a longer game, while also giving you land drops to go nuts with all of your extra material. Uro has so many abilities that even now players have only begun to scratch the surface of what it can do. A repeatable Growth Spiral is great. A repeatable Reviving Dose is also great. A giant creature that comes out of the graveyard without costing you a card, and generates value turn after turn, is starting to get a little crazy. This is a card that we are going to be seeing a lot of for the foreseeable future, so let's see what else Uro can do!

 

Roundup: Pioneer Between the PTs

 

Czech House Niv-Mizzet (Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa)

 

BW Auras (Ken Yukuhiro)

 

Sultai Delirium (Joel Larsson)

 

Lotus Breach (Brent Vos)

 

Dimir Inverter (kanister)

 

Flashback: Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

 

Pioneer

 

Grixis Kroxa Midrange (Damon): 7-8 leagues

 

Grixis Kroxa Midrange (David): 2-3 league

 

Rakdos Kroxa Cat (David): 3-2 league

 

Modern

 

Jund Hungry Zoo (Dan): 3-2 league

 

Grixis Renegade Kroxa (Dan): 2-3 league

 

T-Rex on the Titanic (test deck): not recommended for league play

 

 

Brew Session: Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

 

Pioneer

 

Blood for Bones Reanimator: 8-2 leagues

 

Simic Ramp (Sketch)

 

Sultai Uro Oven (Sketch)

 

Modern

 

Wrenn and Uro (by MrRaeb, 5-0 league)

 

Uro's Weirding (by Nephtyz, 5-0 league)
 

 

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Faithless Brewing #40: Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

 

Freshly escaped from the underworld of Theros, Kroxa is at the peak of his powers. 6/6 is nearly as big as it gets. Two mana is nearly as lean as it gets. A true titan of the game, Kroxa packs a punch and delivers value coming and going, but he's not resting on his laurels. No, King Kroxa is still hungry, and he's coming for that 5-0 in Modern and Pioneer. 

 

Mechanically speaking, Theros's titans are fairly complicated under the hood. As pseudo spell effects, they are somewhat reminiscent of the Evoke and Adventure mechanics, but the similarities only go so far. The upshot is that the turn you spend two mana for a Raven's Crime is a very bad turn. The turn you spend four mana for a 6/6 with a positive ETB and attack trigger is a very good turn, and you can have that turn multiple times in a game. Kroxa's power level seems to lie somewhere in the middle, if we are just taking the card at face value. But what if we break the mold and cheat on Kroxa's hidden costs? Can we skip the Raven's Crime turn by putting Kroxa directly into the graveyard? Or how about the two mana 6/6 body that is briefly on the battlefield, what if we make extra use of that? The possibilities are as endless as Kroxa's appetite, so let's start brewing!

 

Roundup: Modern Brews + Pioneer PTs

 

Modern

 

Turbo Elesh Norn: 4-0* league. Move 4th Leyline to main deck, cut green splash, add SB Burrenton Forge-Tender.
 
 
RG Kiora Ox: 5-0 league. New card grades: Ox of Agonas (B), Phoenix of Ash (B-), Klothys, God of Destiny (C)
 

 

Flashback: Enigmatic Incarnation

 

Pioneer

 

 
 
 
Rhino Incarnation 1.2: proposed update
 
 

Enigmatic Uro: 0-5 league. Needed more removal. Rebuild as Chronic Flooding delve/self-mill Oracle deck.

 

Modern

 

Enigmatic Doom: 2-3 league. Add Leylines to the main deck, increase land count, clean up 2-3 mana plays.

 

Brew Session: Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

 

Sketch 1: Grixis Kroxa

 

Sketch 2: Rakdos Sacrifice

 

Reference lists:

 

"Mardu Yacht Club" (by @shakegently)
 
 
Jund Traverse Kroxa (5-1-1, by kaberb)

 

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Mysteries Incarnate

Faithless Brewing, Episode 39: Enigmatic Incarnation

 

When you give a card an outlandish name like "Enigmatic Incarnation," you'd better step up and deliver something deliciously and awesomely weird. Luckily, in this case, the R&D and Creative teams came through, offering a truly mysterious new tutoring engine. Superficially similar to Birthing Pod and Prime Speaker Vannifar, Enigmatic Incarnation throws those precedents out the window by triggering only once per turn (on end step) and feeding on one card type (enchantment) while tutoring for another (creature). It is truly a mystery wrapped in an enigma, drawing on an entirely different slice of the card pool and asking brewers to invent their own play pattern if they hope to unlock its power over multiple turns. The decision trees are complex and the rewards are potentially massive. Let's start brewing!

 

Flashback: Heliod, Sun-Crowned

 

Pioneer

 

Mono-White Owl (Damon): 1-3 league
 
 
UW Teferi Owl (Damon): 3-2 league
 
 
Basic Heliod Aggro (Dan): 3-2 league
 

Modern

 

Turbo Elesh Norn 2.0 (Dan): 4-0* league. Played this league after we recorded this show, so stay tuned for next week's episode for more info on it.

 

Brew Session: Enigmatic Incarnation

 

Pioneer

 

Sketch 1: 4c Rhino Incarnation

 

Sketch 2: Sultai Enigmatic Inversion

 

Modern

 

Sketch 3: Mystery Ponza

 

Sketch 4: Bant Hatching Plans

 

Sketch 5: Enigmatic Conscription

 

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The Sun God Rises

Faithless Brewing, Episode 38: Heliod, Sun-Crowned

 

All things must come to an end, and for Mox Opal, that end proved to be a rather unceremonious bludgeoning with the ban hammer in Modern. Also banned are Oko, Thief of Crowns (yet again) and Mycosynth Lattice (thank you, next), the largest shakeup in Modern since... the printing of Throne of Eldraine. The crew pours one out for the fallen victims of last week's B&R, and takes another look ahead at promising new printings from Theros: Beyond Death.

But while the sun sets on an entire era, another sun rises, in both Modern and Pioneer -- specifically Heliod, the Sun-Crowned, who is perhaps the most hotly anticipated printing from Theros: Beyond Death. Heliod's infinite damage combo with Walking Ballista has echoes of Saheeli Felidar, or even (some say) Splinter Twin. Can the new God possibly live up to the hype? In truth, Heliod Ballista is an enormously mana intensive combo, but there are sneaky tools available to shave on mana costs and arrive at a leaner, meaner 1-2 combo punch. In Modern, this can also mean eschewing Ballista altogether, and instead pursuing infinite life with Spike Feeder or Kitchen Finks. And if that fails? Well, nothing says we can't turn our 5/5 indestructible beater sideways. Will any of these decks rise to glory? Let's find out!

 

Roundup: Modern B&R + Theros Previews
 
 
 
 
• Mox Opal: end of era
 
Flashback: Ghirapur Orrery
 
 
 
 
Simic Midrange (Damon): 3-2 league
 
 
Brew Session: Heliod, Sun-Crowned
 
 
Modern
 
 
 
Pioneer
 
 
 
 
 
Bonus Sketch: Bant Vannifar Heliod
 
Bonus Sketch: Bant Heliod Flash
 
Bonus Sketch: Basic Mono-W Heliod
 
 
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Faithless Brewing, Episode 37: The Brew Review

 

Theros: Beyond Death is upon us! The newest set looks poised to continue the recent trend of Standard-legal expansions massively impacting eternal formats, with a slew of exciting previews to unpack. At the same time, Modern as we know it continues to evolve and change, with results from major tournaments in paper and online giving a final snapshot of the Oko era before the latest round of massive bannings. (Note: this episode was recorded before Monday's B&R, so you can enjoy one last analysis of the Oko metagame as a fun little capsule in time.)

 

For our last episode before taking the plunge into the underworld of Theros, we are debuting a new segment on the show: the Brew Review! Instead of picking a single card to focus on this week, we instead solicited our listeners to share with us some of their spiciest brews in Modern and Pioneer: whether polished lists they've been testing extensively, or wild ideas that came to them in a rapturous fever dream of brewing energy. From End-Raze Forerunners combo, to Fires of Invention Angels, to a comprehensive brewer's guide to Myth Realized, this edition of the Brew Review has something for everyone!

 

Roundup: Modern Championships + SCG Columbus
 
 
Explore Titan (Matthew Dilks/Will Pulliam)
 
Galvanic Urza (Corey Baumeister / Pete Ingram)
 
Once Upon Eldrazi Tron (xfile, Modern Challenge)
 
Veil of Titanshift (i_b_true, Modern Champs)
 
Soul-Scar Burn (sandydogmtg, Modern Champs)
 
Glittering Niv-Mizzet (Lanny Huang, 7-0 Modern Challenge)
Naya Stonecleave (Ihavethefire, Modern Champs)
 
Liquimetal Urza (Phil England, 6th in Modern Classic)
 
KotR Titan Ramp (Kazuga, 5-2 Modern Challenge)

 

The Brew Review, Part 1
 
 
Mono-red Blitz (by Jiggywiggy) [Modern]
 
GW Mentor (by Shane B.) [Pioneer]
 
Speed Pigs (by KilgoreTrout503) [Pioneer]
 
Narset for Days (by unpronounceable) [Pioneer]
 
Angel Fires (by Paimon) [Pioneer]
 
Esper Mythseize (by Spotred) [Modern]
 
 
Bonus Brews:
 
 
GW Gideons (by allfordelilah) [Pioneer]
 
MonoGreen Ponza (by EnderXenocide) [Modern]
 
Blue Bird Arclight Dredge (by Jonathan Walsh) [Pioneer]
 
Agent of Duplication (by unpronounceable) [Pioneer]
 
Mighty Morophon Sliver Tron (by unpronounceable) [Modern]
 
 
Contact Us
 
 
If you like our show, be sure to join our Patreon and leave us an Apple Podcasts review. Thank you for your support!
 
Faithless Brewing #36: Ghirapur Orrery
 
The results are in! In the final days before Theros: Beyond Death, we let our listeners choose the card that we would brew around for the week. Many outstanding cards from Magic's past and present were nominated, but in the end, only one could emerge victorious in the patron poll: Ghirapur Orrery! This forgotten gem from Kaladesh hearkens back to the days when we were small children with a poor understanding of Magic's rules: we were convinced, for example, that if you played your last card from hand you immediately got to draw a fresh seven, or that if you declared "fast mana" you could play multiple land drops at once. Well guess what, children: with Ghirapur Orrery in play, now you can do both, and it's not even against the rules! The dream of going nuts with an Orrery is certainly enticing, but to make this card competitive, a lot has to go right. David has some ideas for getting the ball rolling, so let's dive into the lists!
 
Also in this episode: a GP Portland tournament report, 2019 in Review, Theros: Beyond Death Previews, Regisaur testing results, and more!
 
You Pick the Card Poll Results: Summary
 
 
Roundup: GP Portland + 2019 in review + Theros Previews
 
 
Izzet Flash (Damon): 4-4, GP Portland (Standard)
 
 
Flashback: Rotting Regisaur
 
 
Modern
 
 
Reference:
 
"Amulet-less Titan" (bolov0): runner-up, Modern MOCS
 
Urza Charm (VTCLA): winner, Modern MOCS
 
 
Pioneer
 
Golgari Great Hengisaur (David): 5-5 leagues
 
Monoblack Picker (Dan): 7-3 leagues
 
Abzan Evolve (David): 4-1 league
 
Rakdos Vamp Madness (David): 4-1 league
 
 
Follow-ups from previous weeks:
 
 
Scarab God Reclamation (aspiringspike)
 
Blood Moon Niv-Mizzet (Lawson Zandi): 5-3 Modern challenge, 5-0 league, 4-1 league
 
RB Regicleave by Paimon ("Pioneer Death's Shadow)
 
Legacy Kiora Prison by Johan Bang
 
 
Brew Session: Ghirapur Orrery
 
 
Pioneer
 
 
 
Sketch 2: Sultai Dredge
 
 
Contact Us
 
 
If you like our show, be sure to join our Patreon and leave us a review! You can do this from the Apple Podcasts app, or from iTunes if on a computer. Thank you for your support!
 
 
 

Now, That’s a Zombie!

Faithless Brewing, Episode 35: Rotting Regisaur

 

Fires of Invention was a real firecracker of a card. Last week's builds saw spectacular successes and spectacular failures across a wide range of strategies, and yet we've barely even scratched the surface of the card. It should be no surprise that Niv-Mizzet Fires is the build that seemed closest to breaking Pioneer, notching another Faithless 5-0 after the banning of Oko and Nexus of Fate. Sometimes all Niv does is win (including delivering Damon a 1st place trophy in his Modern 1K over the weekend). But there's so much more to explore that it's hard to call the book closed on Fires of Invention. I suspect we'll be seeing this card again sooner than later.

 

As for this week's brew-around, what is there to say? It seems almost unfair to theorycraft Rotting Regisaur; thinking too hard feels against the spirit of the card. Spend three mana, get a giant zombie. Discard a card or two. Turn sideways and try not to get turned into an Elk. It's a 7/6 monster that asks very few questions beyond, How would you like to use it? We've got a few ideas in both Modern and Pioneer, let's see which one roars the strongest!

 

Roundup: Pioneer Bans, Theros Previews

 

Oko + Nexus of Fate ban (Announcement)
 
Change to B&R schedule (Announcement)
 
 
 

Flashback: Fires of Invention

 

Modern
 
Gruul Escape 1.0: 2-3 league
 
Gruul Escape 2.0: 3-2 league
 
Gruul Escape 2.1: recommended for testing
 
 
Reference lists:
 
 
 
 
Pioneer
 
 
 
Temur Elemental Fires (David): recommended for testing
 
 
Bonus list:
 

 

Brew Session: Rotting Regisaur

 

Modern
 
Sketch 1: Heartless Regisaur (by Ryan from Maine)
 
Sketch 1.1: Heartless Regisaur (David)
 
 
Pioneer
 
 
Sketch 2: Vampire Madness
 
 
Bonus Sketch: Varolz Counters
 
Bonus Sketch: Rotten Company
 
 
Reference lists:
 
 
Zombies (Kotva): 5-0 league
 
Red-Black Pyromancer (Ivan_Catanduva_Br): 5-0 league
 
Rakdos Regisaur Midrange (Zxrogue): 5-0 league
 
Regisaur 8-Rack (destricted): 5-0 league
 
Melira Rotten Company (Sinisstar619): 5-0 league
 
 
Golgari Adventure (Chris Kvartek): Mythic Championship VII (Standard)
 
 
Contact Us
 
 
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We Have the Fires

Faithless Brewing, Episode 34: Fires of Invention

 

"If it's free, it's me." The timeless words of Bryan Gottlieb teach us to pay close attention to anything that can be cast for free, one of the most powerful and potentially broken effects in all of Magic. Fires of Invention grants that text to any spell in your deck, allowing you to cast it without tapping lands. And then, it does it again. Two free spells every turn, and you still have all your mana available to spend on other effects? Yeah, that's me. Sign us up for a playset!

 

Fires of Invention is Throne of Eldraine's entrant into the "broken four-mana enchantment engine" category, and it has already proven its chops in Standard as well as Pioneer and Modern. More similar to a Wilderness Reclamation than an Experimental Frenzy, Fires offers an insane mana advantage, provided that you can successfully navigate its numerous constraints. This week the crew has some explosive builds designed to do just that. You want decklists? "Just tell us how many you want and get out of the way!"

 

Roundup: Weekend Results
 
 
Simic Food Ramp (Gerry Thompson)
 
Gruul Kiora (Dan): 3-3, SCG IQ Newington
 
Azorius Approach (Tyler Surovy): 3rd place, SCG IQ Newington
 
 
Flashback: Crested Sunmare
 
 
Modern
 
GW Eldritch Horse: 1-4 league
 
 
Pioneer
 
Orzhov Horse: 3-2 league
 
Abzan Horse: 7-3 leagues
 
 
Brew Session: Fires of Invention

 

Modern
 
 
 
Pioneer
 
 
 
 
Reference lists:
 
Standard
Jeskai Fires (Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa)
5c Niv Fires (Ken Yukuhiro)
5c Golos Fires (Shota Yasooka)
 
 
Modern
Izzet Turns (lsv, 5-0 league)
Izzet Turns (Gfrpaac, 5-0 league)
4c As Firetold (PetyrBaelish, 7-2 PTQ)
4c As Firetold (Runeskjold, 5-0 league)
 
Pioneer
 
Lawson Zandi (Niv-Mizzet streams): https://www.twitch.tv/zanman1414
 
 
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Maximum Horse Power

Faithless Brewing, Episode 33: Crested Sunmare

 

Giddy-up, brewers! It's Horse week at Faithless Brewing, the theme episode you never knew you needed, but now can't recall how you ever lived without. David has been champing at the bit to get Crested Sunmare on the docket, a truly majestic steed that nevertheless failed to cross the finish line during its time in Standard. But don't believe the neighsayers! Despite this rather equestrian Standard pedigree, Sunmare has already galloped to a Grand Prix Day 2 finish in Modern of all places. Was it simply a lack of enablers that made the Standard builds come up lame? Or will the Modern shell prove to be a one-trick pony? In the greener pastures of Pioneer, David thinks he has a thoroughbred, but will his unbridled enthusiasm land him on the whinnying side? There's only one way to find out! This week we've got the horses in the back, horse decklists attached, sleeves are matte black, got the tokens black to match. Saddle up!

 

ALSO: This week, we have a very special bonus episode! We joined forces with our friends at The Dive Down for our first-ever podcast crossover, a deep dive into Niv-Mizzet Reborn in Modern! You can find that episode (The Dive Down, Ep. 51: "ROY G. NIV: 5c Niv-Mizzet, ft. Faithless Brewing") over at www.thedivedown.com, or subscribe to The Dive Down on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, or YouTube to catch all of their outstanding content. Don't miss it!

 

Roundup: Modern Playoffs + Pioneer B&R

 

Pioneer

Pioneer B&R Announcement (Smuggler's Copter, Field of the Dead, Once Upon a Time)

Reference: 2017 Smuggler's Copter Ban Announcement (Standard)

GW Knights (Phill_hellmuth): PTQ Winner

Ari Lax B&R analysis (thread)

 

Modern

Format Playoffs Top 16

 

Flashback: New Perspectives + Witch's Oven
 
 
New Perspectives
 
Blood Sun Perspectives (Dan): 3-2 league, 0-5 league
 
Growth Spiral Perspectives (Danny + David): 4-1 league, 0-3 league
 
 
Twiddle Field (Runeskjold): PTQ Top 8 (x3)
 
 
Witch's Oven
 
Sultai Cat Dredge: strong, but likely does not survive bannings
 
Orzhov Cat Oven: 4-1 league, can be re-tooled without Copter and Lookout, see below
 
 
Temur Emerge Oven: 4-1, but played like a weaker version of Ryan Overturf's non-Oven Temur Emerge. No need for green without OUAT.
 
 
Bonus lists:
 
Kiora Dragons (Pedro Almeida): 8-0, LATAM qualifier series
 
 
 
 
Brew Session: Crested Sunmare
 
 
Modern
 
GW Eldritch Horse (Martin Colding, Fluffywolf2): GP Birmingham Day 2, 5-0 league
 
 
Pioneer
 
 
 
Bonus sketch: Abzan Life Rider
 
Bonus sketch: Ghost Dad Kiora
 
 
 
Contact Us
 
 
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Faithless Brewing, Episode 32: Scrap Trawler, New Perspectives, Astral Drift

 

It was a golden weekend for Niv-Mizzet at Grand Prix Columbus, with Dan and Damon both posting 10-4-1 finishes with our favorite Faithless Brew. Is Niv the last control deck in Modern? What we do know is that, at the last Grand Prix of 2019, Niv quietly had one of the best performances of any archetype in the field.

 

This week, however, we depart from the realm of flashy five-color control, and turn our attention instead to some truly bizarre combos. Scraps from the Oven? New Perspectives? Astral Drift Turbo-Land? Oh yes, these are going to be spicy ones.

 

We are joined this week by special guest brewer Danny Salvatore, fresh off a Top 4 finish at the SCG Invitational. We talk about his preparations in Modern and Pioneer leading up to the Invi and the GP, before we collectively dive headfirst into assembling the combo machine.

 

Flashback: SCG Invitational + Grand Prix Columbus

 

SCG Invitational (Pioneer / Modern)

 

Green Devotion (Danny Salvatore, 3rd place)

Grixis Shadow (Danny Salvatore, 3rd place)

 

GP Columbus (Modern)

 

Utopia Niv-Mizzet (Dan + Damon, 10-4-1, 40th & 42nd place)

 

Rakdos Bone Picker: 2-3 league, needed more creatures to crew with

 

Brew Session: Comboing Off

 

Sketch #1: Scraps from the Oven

 

Sketch #2: New Perspectives (Growth Spiral version)

 

Sketch #3: New Perspectives (Blood Sun version)

 

Brainstorm Session: Astral Drift Turbo-Land

 

Contact Us
 
If you like our show, be sure to leave us a review! You can do this from within the Apple Podcasts mobile app, or (if on a computer) open the iTunes desktop app and search for Faithless Brewing, then click "Ratings and Reviews" and click "Write a review." Thank you for your support!
 

 

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