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




Grixis Kroxa Midrange (Damon): 7-8 leagues


Grixis Kroxa Midrange (David): 2-3 league


Rakdos Kroxa Cat (David): 3-2 league




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




Blood for Bones Reanimator: 8-2 leagues


Simic Ramp (Sketch)


Sultai Uro Oven (Sketch)




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




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




Rhino Incarnation 1.2: proposed update

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




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




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



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




Sketch 1: 4c Rhino Incarnation


Sketch 2: Sultai Enigmatic Inversion




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
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]
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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
"Amulet-less Titan" (bolov0): runner-up, Modern MOCS
Urza Charm (VTCLA): winner, Modern MOCS
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
Sketch 2: Sultai Dredge
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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


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


Brew Session: Rotting Regisaur


Sketch 1: Heartless Regisaur (by Ryan from Maine)
Sketch 1.1: Heartless Regisaur (David)
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)
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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
GW Eldritch Horse: 1-4 league
Orzhov Horse: 3-2 league
Abzan Horse: 7-3 leagues
Brew Session: Fires of Invention


Reference lists:
Jeskai Fires (Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa)
5c Niv Fires (Ken Yukuhiro)
5c Golos Fires (Shota Yasooka)
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)
Lawson Zandi (Niv-Mizzet streams):
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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, 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 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)



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
GW Eldritch Horse (Martin Colding, Fluffywolf2): GP Birmingham Day 2, 5-0 league
Bonus sketch: Abzan Life Rider
Bonus sketch: Ghost Dad Kiora
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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


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