Faithless Brewing, Episode 25: The Great Henge


Some weeks, when we pick a card to feature, we know it will be a hit. Charming Prince is a versatile role player. Emry is insanely efficient. Oko is simply Broko, and might prove too strong even for eternal formats. Brewing around these cards is a great way to get acquainted with future format staples, and maybe rack up some trophies in the process.


Other times, however, it is helpful to brew from the other end of the spectrum: pick a card that might prove totally unplayable, explore it to its fullest, and see where that leads. The Great Henge is one such card. Like the rest of Eldraine's mythic artifact cycle, The Great Henge demands an impossible mana investment, but offers a quest that might let you summon it on the cheap. Meeting this condition is already a giant puzzle, to say nothing of crafting a game plan that can exploit the Henge's abilities while also keeping pace with the brutal Modern format.


This week, our goal is to stretch our deckbuilding muscles. This means brewing in Hard Mode. Forget about 5-0s, or tuning a sideboard for the meta; these decks might not even survive the goldfishing stage. But the farther there is to climb, the more we stand to learn from the attempt. Join us as we venture to the Great Henge and beyond!


Roundup: Latest Developments in Modern


Utopia Niv-Mizzet (Dan): Top 4, SCG IQ Danbury, Sprawls are quite good at landing a planeswalker on turn 2, which may prove more important going forward


Sultai Into the Story (Raphael Mark): Top 2, SCG IQ Danbury, a strong take on the Mystic Sultai hard control archetype


Flashback: Charming Prince


Naya Dubious Defector: 13-7 leagues, hilarious and powerful, struggles to play defense


GW Charming Challenge: 2-3 league, Iona is stronger than Woodfall Primus/Worldspine Wurm, but requires giving up Through the Breach


Boros Blink: 2-3 league, grinds well, but struggles to disrupt unfair decks


Charming Taxes: 2-3 league, relies heavily on Aether Vial and Stoneforge Mystic to present anything powerful


UW Charming Soulherder: 3-2 league, very strong but requires a lot of clicks and triggers to win


Brew Session: The Great Henge


Sketch #1: Golgari Hengevine


Sketch #2: Yolo Yorvo Combo Henge


Sketch #3: Basic Henge Stompy


Sketch #4: Arcanist Hengehammer Beats


Elfball Combo Henge (Meryn MTG): 5-2 in 1v1 queues


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Faithless Brewing, Episode 24: Charming Prince


Oko, Thief of Crowns crushed it last week. We tested five homes the new Simic walker, and the trophies just started stacking up. Sultai Faeries, Bant Okoblade, Bonecrusher Kiora, even Faeburrow Niv-Mizzet got in on the 5-0 action. 38-7 is not a normal record for our testing sessions. Was it just good luck, good decklists, or is Oko simply brok-o? What is clear at least is that the card has many hidden modes, functioning more like a six- or seven- ability walker. "Five-Oh-ko" (too much?) looks to be a multi-format staple going forward, so pick up your copies now.


Four trophies will be a tough act to follow, so this week the crew takes a crack at a more humble offering from Eldraine: the Charming Prince! Like Oko, Prince Charming offers three modes, but contextually they can feel like four or five. Versatility like that on a 2 drop is great, but the blink mode in particular has Dave's gears turning as potentially enabling broken plays. Can the young prince rescue our permanents from the enemy’s clutches, and stake his claim as a future Modern staple?



Timestamps and Decklists


Flashback: Oko, Thief of Crowns


03:45 Bant StoneBlade: 5-0 league

12:29 Shape Anew: 2-3 league

21:14 Sultai Faeries: 9-1 leagues

30:04 Bonecrusher Kiora: 17-3 leagues

39:10 Faeburrow Niv: 5-0 league


Roundup: Eldraine Week Two



51:03 SCG Team Open results

52:48 Once Upon a Time, Castle Garenbrig

54:06 Emry, Lurker of the Loch

54:56 Witching Well

55:34 Mystic Sanctuary

58:35 Gingerbrute, All that Glitters

59:24 Merchant of the Vale

59:43 Fires of Invention + Fae of Wishes

1:01:15 Fires of Invention + Savor the Moment + Mystic Sanctuary

1:04:55 Glass Casket

1:05:16 The Royal Scions

1:06:18 Drown in the Loch


Brew Session: Charming Prince



1:09:24 Charming Prince Overview

1:11:53 Sketch 1: Wr Humble Blink

1:26:37 Sketch 2: Naya Challenge


Reference lists:


Mono-W Taxes (kaosofmind): 5-0

Mono-W Emeria (Fincown): 5-0

GW Dubious Prince (k_f_chicken): 5-0




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Faithless Brewing, Episode 23: Oko, Thief of Crowns


Oko, Thief of Crowns, is a mischievous trickster. He’s so devious that he tricked Wizards into printing him with three powerful abilities and a giant pile of loyalty, all for the low, low price of three mana. Already poised to dominate Standard, the crew thinks Oko will be flaunting his skills in Modern in the very near future, and Dave has six new decklists to prove it.


Also, Dan has a new article up on a comprehensive Brewer’s Guide to Throne of Eldraine! Expanding on our discussions in the podcast and analyzing 65 cards across four different Top 10 lists (math checks out, right?) this article has everything you need to start brewing with one of the most exciting new releases that Modern has ever seen. You won’t want to miss it!


As always, thanks for listening!


— cavedan


Dan’s Article: A Brewer's Guide to Throne of Eldraine


Damon’s Tournament Results


Rainbow Niv-Mizzet (Damon): 6-2 Modern challenge, 5-0 league

Brazen Cutthroat Kiki (Damon, based on kahluah777’s 5-0 list): 5-0 league


Roundup: Throne of Eldraine Week 1


Paradoxical Emry (Kevslinger): 7-1 Modern Challenge

Emry Ascendancy (Rav104): 5-0 League

Wishclaw EmrySword (haubidtran): 5-0 league

Grixis Into the Story (aspiringspike): 5-0 league

Charming Emeria (Fincown): 5-0 league


Dubious Prince (k_f_chicken): 5-0 league


Gilded Skies (internetsurfer09): 5-0 league

Questing Stompy (fluffywolf2): 5-0 league

Once Upon a Bogle (__matsugan): 5-0 league

Glitterbrute Affinity (sandahl123): 5-0 league

SnowKo Niv-Mizzet (rodebo): 5-0 league, 4-1 league


Brew Session: Oko, Thief of Crowns


Sketch #1: Sultai Faeries

Sketch #2: Oko Shape Anew

Sketch #3: 4c Saheeli

Sketch #4: Bant OkoBlade

Sketch #5: Arcades Herder

Sketch #6: Faeburrow Niv-Mizzet (update: Damon notched a 5-0 with this updated list!)


Reference lists:


Bant OkoBlade (UBERMIKEYB): 3rd place, Modern Challenge

4c SnowKo Saheeli (Gab Nassif): 6-2, Modern Challenge



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Faithless Brewing, Episode 22: Emry, Lurker of the Loch


Eldraine is upon us, and Emry, Lurker of the Loch is the talk of Modern Town. In fact, we wrote an entire strategy guide for the card the very day it was spoiled. Our analysis contained one error, though: "Stoneforge Fishstick" is not the most appropriate nickname for the Lady in the Lake. Her power level warrants a more distinguished pedigree: nothing less than "Deathrite Salmon." This week, the crew unpacks five different ways to break Modern wide open with the new legendary merfolk. There's more than one way to fry a fish!




03:02  Niv-Mizzet Reborn (Damon): 5-2 Modern Challenge. Graveyard decks and Urza combo are currently ascendant in the metagame; plan accordingly.


Flashback: Green Week


08:57 GW Leyline Elves: 3-2 league, needs more speed and redundancy in the combo to compensate for lower overall power

14:08 Genesis Devotion (by u/Cube_): 8-7 leagues, capable of truly astonishing combo turns, but struggles to interact with other linear/degenerate decks
25:17 Unbound Devotion: 5-5 leagues, Llanowar Tribe is solid and Hydroid Krasis is capable of carrying the deck. Still struggles with the same spread of matchups as the other green devotion lists
36:17 Unbound Revelation (by u/DiogenesCane): uses Heartbeat of Spring and Finale of Revelation for a Time Spiral-like effect, as described here
41:49 "Hogaak-less Hogaak" (sketch): an attempt to graft the Saffi+Rallier combo into a Vengevine aggro shell
44:41 Rallier Combo (by Aaron Westbrook): a variant using Kaya's Ghostform for redundancy in combo pieces
Roundup: Eldraine Top Ten
51:10 (HM) Grumgully, the Generous
53:01 (HM) Witching Well
54:50 (#10) Brazen Borrower
58:57 (#9) Glass Casket
1:01:10 (#8) Wishclaw Talisman
1:05:33 (#7) Castle Garenbrig
1:10:07 (#6) The Royal Scions
1:14:50 (#5) Oko, Thief of Crowns
1:16:33 (#4) Drown in the Loch
1:18:51 (#3) Mystic Sanctuary
1:22:32 (#2) Emry, Lurker of the Loch
1:24:17 (#1) Once Upon a Time
Brew Session: Emry, Lurker of the Loch
1:29:25 The Core Emry Package
1:33:17 UrzaSword
1:33:50 Jeskai Ascendancy
1:39:12 Paradox Engine
1:41:54 Paradoxical Outcome
1:46:51 Kethis, the Hidden Hand
1:55:11 Fair Decks with Emry
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Faithless Brewing, Episode 21: Leyline of Abundance + Eldraine Previews
It's finally here: Green Week! After a long and arduous Hogaak summer, the metagame has finally slowed enough to potentially reward a strategy of flooding the battlefield with green permanents. Core 2020's Leyline of Abundance has been waiting in the wings, offering explosive starts with mana dorks, as well as a few sneaky infinite combos. Also, did somebody say two free pips for Nykthos? The crew breaks down fresh new takes on Leyline Combo, Unbound Flourishing, and Green Devotion.
Plus: a host of spicy previews from Throne of Eldraine, including bonus decklists!
Roundup: Niv-Mizzet Takes Flight
It was a big week for Niv-Mizzet Reborn, as this Faithless Brewing Original has officially ascended to Tier 2 status (at least, according to the wise sages at the Arena Decklists Podcast). But don't just take their word for it. The tournament results speak for themselves, with Niv putting up strong results at MCQs both in paper and online.
Glittering Niv (Ihavethefire): 1st place, MCQ Pittsburgh
Ramp-less Niv (Damon): 6-2 MCQ Seattle, 6-4 MTGO PTQ, 5-0 league x2
Traverse Niv (cavedan): 6-3 MTGO PTQ
Flashback: Kethis, the Hidden Hand
We'll be straight up, these decks sucked. Even Matt Nass's build could barely win a game. Not all is lost, however: the Saffi combo proved strong enough to possibly become its own version of the deck, and Emry, Lurker of the Loch means that help is on the way for dedicated Kethis Kombo.
Project Keth-eX: 3-7 practice matches, curve felt too slow, Kethis combo less well integrated than Saffi combo
Kethis "KCI" (Matt Nass, test deck): 0-5 practice matches, deck folded to everything, mana was horrendous
Emry Kethis Combo (Sam Black, test deck)
"Hogaak-less Hogaak" (test deck): re-built for speed and to maximize Saffi combo, with potential for turn 2 kill (Carrion Feeder -> Stitcher's Supplier into Unearth on Renegade Rallier, return Saffi, attack for lethal).
Throne of Eldraine Previews
Specter's Shriek (Bonus list: BW Processor Eldrazi) -- Bonecrusher Giant (Bonus list: Bonecrusher Kiora) -- Grumgully, the Generous (Bonus list: Grumgully Goblins) -- Torbran, Thane of Red Fell -- Drown in the Loch -- Faeburrow Elder -- Merchant of the Vale (Haggle) -- Irencrag Feat -- Fires of Invention -- Vantress Gargoyle -- The Magic Mirror -- The Cauldron of Eternity -- Witching Well -- Oko, Thief of Crowns (Bonus list: Faerie Foodies)
Brew Session: Leyline of Abundance
Sketch #1: GW Leyline Elves
Sketch #3: Nissa Devotion
Sketch #4: Genesis Wave (designed by u/Cube_)
Reference lists:
Leyline Combo (PVDDR, test deck)
Leyline Combo 2 (PVDDR, test deck)
Devoted Elves (tagosaku, 5-0 league)
Bant Abundance (Jon Stern, MC Barcelona; Jeremie Ross, 5-0 league)
Steel Leaf Stompy (Ryan Robinson, 1st place SCG IQ)
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Faithless Brewing, Episode 20: Kethis, the Hidden Hand


Throne of Eldraine is around the corner and the previews are coming fast and furious. Some look sweet, some look strange, and some look downright broken, including a certain strange woman lying in a pond distributing swords. That's no basis for a system of government.


In the meantime, though, we've got unfinished business with Core Set 2020. Kethis, the Hidden Hand had a surprising breakout late in the Standard season, anchoring a slick combo deck full of powerful legendaries. Modern has even more enticing options, but can this bizarre strategy withstand the transition to the lightning-fast eternal format? Or should Kethis be reimagined as the centerpiece of a midrange build? The crew has some ideas, so let's discuss!


Flashback: Kiora and Niv-Mizzet


Ramp-less Niv-Mizzet (cavedan): Top 8 SCG IQ


Ramp-less Niv-Mizzet (Ihavethefire): 12-0 Modern Playoffs


Kiora Dragons: 10-10 leagues


Kiora Eldrazi: 11-4 leagues


Bonus list: Cat Jesus Returns (sketch)


Throne of Eldraine Previews


Dave has eight spicy hot takes on exciting new contenders for Modern, and Damon and Dan are eager to prove him wrong. Plus, don't miss our in-depth written article on the most dangerous card in the set, Emry, Lurker of the Loch!


Stoneforge Fishstick: A Brewer's Guide to Emry, Lurker of the Loch


Bonus list: Emry Ascendancy (sketch)


Brew Session: Kethis, the Hidden Hand


Sketch #1: 4c Value Kethis
Sketch #3: Project Keth-eX
Reference lists:
Standard Kethis Combo (Ondrej Strasky)
Kethis "KCI" (Matt Nass, test deck)


Abzan Kethis Station (yooisa, test deck)


Kethis Erayo (anonymous, test deck)


Kethis Emry Combo (Sam Black, test deck)


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Faithless Brewing, Episode 19: Kiora, Niv-Mizzet, Kolaghan's Command


Faithless Looting is gone, and our beloved "non-rotating" format is in upheaval once again. Tournament results are trickling in, but in the Magic Online leagues, it's the Wild West: everyone has dusted off their midrange decks, hoping that strategies that have always fared poorly will finally get a chance to breathe in a graveyard-free Modern. It is a great time to be a brewer.


With seemingly endless possibilities to explore, this week the crew revisits some old favorites: Faithless Brews that were powerful before Modern Horizons, but couldn't keep up with the madness of Hogaak Summer. We discuss new builds of RG Kiora Dragons, Rainbow Niv-Mizzet, and old school Grixis Control. Are these old challengers ready to compete for the top tier of the new Modern? Let's discuss!




Flashback: Stoneforge Mystic
UW Stoneblade (D00mswitch): 3-2 league
Jeskai QuellBlade: 2-3 league
Bant Devoted Blade (bobinchese): 4-1 league
Brew Session: New Takes on Old Favorites
Kiora's Dragons (post-Hogaak update)
Rainbow Niv-Mizzet (post-Hogaak update)

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Faithless Brewing, Episode 18: The Ultimate Guide to Stoneforge Mystic


It was a difficult week for the Faithless Family, as we had to say goodbye to one of our own. Faithless Looting, the best card in Modern, breaker of formats and giver of value, was struck down in the prime of its life, taken from us by a cruel stroke of research and development. Dear Looting, you shall be missed.


There is no rest for the weary, however, as a new powerhouse has been unleashed upon the Modern format. Stoneforge Mystic has arrived to thunderous applause and is already dominating the MTGO leagues, with no fewer than 27(!) distinct Stoneforge decks appearing in the first 5-0 deck dump. It is a time of wild experimentation, and we are here to guide you through all the different ways to make Batterskull and friends. You won't want to miss this one!





Flashback: Elementals

Bant Vesperlark: 5-5 leagues, an acceptable combo deck with a good ability to grind thanks to Risen Reef. Lack of interaction makes it difficult to keep up with aggressive strategies.
RB Thunder Forger: 5-5 leagues, Thunderkin is massively defanged by the loss of Faithless Looting, and this deck can never defeat a Batterskull. The Shaman core remains surprisingly powerful though.



Brew Session: Stoneforge Mystic


Stoneforge lists from around the web, all from within the first two days of the card's legality. For the full Friday 5-0 deck dump, complete with 27 distinct Stoneforge lists, click here.
UWx StoneBlade
UW Stoneblade (Todd Anderson)
UW Stoneblade (Emma Handy)
UW Stoneblade (Ben Friedman)
Jeskai Stoneblade (Todd Anderson)
Esper Stoneblade (Todd Anderson)
Esper UrzaBlade (Samuel Graebner, 16-4 leagues)
UW UrzaBlade (kanister)
4c Urza (Ross Merriam)
UW Urza (Bryan Gottlieb)
BW Midrange
BW SewerBlade (CalebD, 5-0 league)
BW Ale-Drazi (xjcloud, 5-0 league)
Existing Combo w/ Stoneforge Support
Jeskai Saheeli Elementals (Jan Huang, 5-0 league)
4c Snowheeli Blade (Ross Merriam)
Bant Devoted Blade (Ross Merriam)
Bant Midrange
Bant Snowblade (aspiringspike, 5-0 league)
Bant Snowblade (SaffronOlive, 5-0 league)
Bant SpiritBlade (Emma Handy)
White Aggro
Mono-W CawBlade (aspiringspike, 5-0 league)
Mono-W Cawblade (kponce, 5-0 league)

Miscellaneous Midrange

Abzan Midrange (Reid Duke)
Naya ZooBlade (Wyatt Darby)
GW EldraziBlade (Ryan Overturf)
Equipment Combo
RW Hammertime (CalebD, 3-1 league)



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Thunderkin Awakening

Faithless Brewing, Episode 17: Risen Reef / Elemental Tribal


The Elemental tribe is rising from the reef with a host of new printings from Modern Horizons and Core 2020. Thunderkin Awakener has already established itself as a player alongside Lightning Skelemental, but Risen Reef has brewers experimenting with all five colors of the rainbow. The decks are already sweet, and we've barely begun to scratch the surface of what this tribe can do. Will Vesperlark give Altar of Dementia a second chance at breaking Modern? Does Master of Waves push Risen Reef over the top? Can Thunderkin Awakener breathe new life into Rage Forger aggro? Join us this week for a journey to the Primal Beyond, as we discuss all things Elementals with some slick new brews.




02:30 Lame Duck Modern + the post-Hogaak Metagame


17:40 Elemental Tribal: What We've Seen So Far


26:10 Brewing Elementals with the Scryfall Method


45:41 4c Vesperlark Value-Combo (Brew #1)


57:00 Bant Vesperlark Combo (Brew #1b)


1:02:45 RB Thunder Forger (Brew #2)


1:09:30 Temur Thunder Vine (Brew #2b)


Other lists referenced:


Skelemental, Thunderkin, Unearth, and Ball Lightning, plus Seasoned Pyro/Faithless Looting + standard B/R spell package, a couple Arcanists thrown in.
Basically the same, but trimming Thunderkins and dropping Ball Lightning to make room for copies of Young Pyromancer, Lingering Souls, Smiting Helix.
8-Balls + Collected Company + Pelt Collector, the worst creature in Modern.
Risen Reef and a random assortment of creatures. Aether Vial + the tribal lands (Cavern, Unclaimed Territory, Primal Beyond) + Smokebraider enable all 5 colors.
There are 2 more 5-0 "5c Elemental" lists that do not run Skelemental.
Reef as a value creature in Bant Company, with light Elemental package (mainly Voice of Resurgence).
Rage Forger + a bunch of terrible creatures that happen to be Shamans.

All-in Vesperlark Combo (Liam Cahalan)

Turbo mill to assemble Vesperlark + sac outlet + Image/Body Double.


5c Master of the Reef (Caleb Durward)

Miscellaneous 5c elementals, including Shorecrasher Elemental for increased devotion.


Amulet Reef Combo (u/Jrax)

Play your whole deck with Amulet of Vigor + Risen Reef (explanation here).


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Faithless Brewing, Episode 16: Niv-Mizzet Deep Dive


It's a Hogaak summer, it is what it is, but Niv's a 5-star dragon and we know he's got it lit. Dan and Damon spread their wings over Minneapolis last weekend with a new build of Rainbow Niv-Mizzet. The deck is sweet, but can you really cash a Grand Prix with a Faithless Brew? Yes, yes you can! Damon notched a 9-4-2 finish in the main event, and the deck is poised to get even better in the post-Hogaak metagame.

This week the crew breaks down everything Niv-Mizzet: our testing process, manabase considerations, sideboarding and matchup analysis, and recommendations for the build going forward. You won't want to miss this one!


Niv-Mizzet GP Deck Tech (Damon)


Friday MCQ Decklist (Damon + Dan)


Saturday GP Decklist (Damon + Dan)


Sunday MCQ Decklist (Dan)


Hogaak without Leylines (Andrew Wolbers, Sunday MCQ Winner)


Unexpected Tron deck tech (Nathan Graves, Saturday round 6 feature match)


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