Faithless Brewing MTG: Modern and Pioneer for the Spike Rogue
The Last Days of Companion

The Last Days of Companion

May 29, 2020

Ikoria, Episode 8: Days of Thunder


"On Monday 6/1 there will be an update to the Banned & Restricted list impacting the Standard and Historic formats that will also address the Companion mechanic." Thus spake WotC's official Twitter account on Tuesday, and just this morning Blake Rasmussen confirmed that there will indeed be a functional change to Ikoria's flagship mechanic. Let the speculation commence!


While few would contend that nothing needs to be changed, there is broad disagreement about what fix, if any, would satisfy the goals of Wizards and the player base at large. Can the Companion mechanic be saved? Or is it safer, in the sage words of David Robertson, to "nuke it from space"? And what lessons can be drawn from the changes to Standard and Historic that are also on the horizon?


Add this episode to your time capsules, as it will surely be fun to look back and laugh at our wild predictions when the truth is finally revealed to all in just a few short days.


Modern Metagame Analysis (via MTGModernMetrics)



Decklists for this episode can be viewed at


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Flashback: Vadrok, Apex of Thunder


Tempo Strategies

Tribal Zoo by beestjes (6-2, Modern Challenge)

Jeskai Tempo (Standard)

Mardu Vehicle Vadrok (Pioneer)


Token Strategies

Vadrok Boros Tokens (Pioneer)

Jeskai Tokens Vadrok (Pioneer)


Combo Strategies

Chance for Glory combo (Modern)

Infinite Manamorphose Combo (Modern)



Beyond Brewing on a Budget (ft. Emma Partlow)

Beyond Brewing on a Budget (ft. Emma Partlow)

May 22, 2020

Ikoria, Episode 7: Brewer's Mailbag with Emma Partlow



There's more to Magic than winning and losing. There's more to budget than dollars and cents. This week we are joined by the one and only Emma Partlow from TCGPlayer. We open up the Brewer's Mailbag to ask Emma about everything under the sun: the B&R update, the future of companions, the 5 slipperiest bogles, and much more!


Where to find Emma:


Social Media





Decklists for this episode can be viewed at


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From the Refinery


As luck would have it, we have also been working on some Hexproof stratgies ourselves in the latest episodes of Rogue Refinery. Do these pass the Bogles test?


Rogue Refinery #2: Colossification


Rogue Refinery #3: Vadrok, Apex of Thunder. NB: This week's episode is divided into three videos!

Part 1 (Standard)

Part 2 (Pioneer)

Part 3 (Modern)




Aura Swap Bogles (Modern)


Jeskai Slippery Vadrok (Modern)


Temur Hexproof Vadrok (Pioneer)




The Top 8 Modern Innovations Since Ikoria

The Top 8 Modern Innovations Since Ikoria

May 15, 2020

Ikoria, Episode 6: Eight Modern Innovations


Look, let's be honest. For many fans of Magic's eternal formats, morale is currently low. The sudden shift to a Companion metagame, paired with the loss of in-person play and the small joys of connecting with our fellow Magic enthusiasts, has left some players feeling adrift in an unfamiliar and rapidly shifting landscape. These are indeed strange times. But let us say it plainly: You Are Not Alone. The beautiful thing about The Gathering is that, even listening to a brewing podcast during spare moments in your home quarantine, you will never be alone.


One thing that is certainly NOT true is the notion that "Magic is dead" and "It's all Lurrus, there's no innovation." Building decks with companions, and playing matches with and against them, is disorienting but also exhilarating. You may have heard "Lurrus is everywhere" but when you look closely you will find that there is tons of innovation happening in Modern, day after day, tournament after tournament. This week we take a look at eight of our favorite new decks to emerge since the release of Ikoria. With drastic changes come new spaces for creativity and discovery, so come take a look and get inspired for your next Modern brew!



Decklists for this episode can be viewed at


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Flashback, Part I: Lutri, the Spellchaser


Jeskai Otter by ManaCymbal (Modern): 4-1 league



Naru Meha Combo (Pioneer): 4-6 leagues



Flashback, Part II: Song of Creation


If you missed it, be sure to check out Episode 1 of our new video series, Rogue Refinery! We take a close look at Song of Creation in Standard, Pioneer, and Modern, complete with gameplay highlights and expert analysis from AliasV and Paul Cheon. Watch Episode 1 here:




Kinnan Storm by AronGomu (Modern)


Amulet of Creation (Modern)


Song Ascendancy (Pioneer)


Ascendancy Combo by Paul Cheon (Pioneer)


Song of Nissa (Standard/Pioneer)


Rhythm of Creation (Standard/Pioneer)



The Top 8 Modern Innovations Since Ikoria


HM: Curious Bogles


#8: Zombie Copter (Ross Merriam)


#7: BW ZirdaBlade


#6: Slithery Dimir (Damon)


#5: Hammer Time (Tom Ross)


#4: Umori Titan


#3: Counterbalance Miracles (aspiringspike)


#2: Umbral Zirda


#1: Auratouched Winota (Lawson Zandi)



Take the Otter Challenge (ft. Zach Ryl)

Take the Otter Challenge (ft. Zach Ryl)

May 8, 2020

Ikoria, Episode 5: Lutri, the Spellchaser


It's our one-year anniversary at the Faithless Brewing Podcast, and we're celebrating in a big way. Special guest brewer? Absolutely. Wild 5-0 lists in Modern? Yes indeed. Gorgeous new banner? Very much so. New video series with Wizards of the Coast?!?! Why, yes!


This week, we sit down with Zach Ryl, aka ManaCymbal, to master the Way of the Otter. Lutri, the Spellchaser has a marginal ability and a seemingly punishing companion requirement. Can you really succeed with a singleton deck? Even if you manage to win, what did you learn from your pile of mismatched one-ofs? It turns out that the answer is, Yes, and A Whole Lot! Building decks around "buckets" rather than single-card synergies is a skill set all its own, and an invaluable tool in the brewer's arsenal. Zach talks us through the ins and outs of brewing successfully with Lutri, and has some spicy takes of his own on Lukka Legend as well. Come splash around with us and take the #OtterChallenge yourself!


New Banner: The Faithless Café by Ev Davis aka Whistler

A place for your daily brewing inspiration. There are 11 Magic cards referenced in the Café; can you spot them all?


Where to find the art of Whistler:


Twitter: @artofwhistler




New Video Show! Rogue Refinery (ft. Paul Cheon, Eilidh Lonie, and Faithless Brewing)


New episodes every Wednesday at 9am PT on the Magic: the Gathering YouTube channel. Watch Episode 1 (Song of Creation) here:



Decklists for this episode can be viewed at


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Roundup: Interview with Zach Ryl aka ManaCymbal


Where to find Zach:




Twitter: @ManaCymbal


Flashback: Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast




RG Lukka Obosh (David): 1-4 league


RG Lukka Creativity (David): 2-3 league




RG Lukka Obosh by Signblindman (Zach): 3-2 league


Maximum Lukka Drive (Zach): 4-1 league


Rampless Lukka Cat (David): 1-4 league


Rampy Lukka Cat (Damon): 3-2 league


80-card Lukka Cat (Dan): 4-1 league



Brew Session: Lutri, the Spellchaser


Izzet Otter Nonsense (Zach): 5-0 league by thepensword


Blue Otter Moon (Damon): 5-0 league


Grixis Otter Ultimatum (Zach)


Temur Otterwalks (Zach)


Jeskai Sl'Otter (Zach)


Jeskai Temp (Zach)


Sultai Sea Dog (Zach)




Lutri Evolution Combo (David)




Lukka Legend, Tiger King

Lukka Legend, Tiger King

May 1, 2020

Ikoria, Episode 4: Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast


Somewhere in the Multiverse, there are grizzled veterans who played Polymorph before it was cool. Those players are bankrupt now, their tickets squandered, their play points long depleted. Finding Polymorph fodder when Emrakul can be your only creature will take you down strange and lonely deckbuilding paths (yes, we see you Dwarven Mine).


Enter Lukka, the newest addition to the roster of red planeswalkers. Lukka's -2 is a Polymorph with a twist: it only finds creatures of higher converted mana cost. Small change, massive upside. What if we could have our mana dorks, and eat our spaghetti monster too? What if we could graft a Polymorph  endgame onto an already functional ramp curve? Things just got very interesting.


This week we spin the wheel with Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast, in Modern, Pioneer, and even a touch of Standard. The best part about Lukka? He's not a Companion. The worst part about Lukka? Yeah, he's probably friends with Companions. But we're willing to forgive him if his critter pals deliver the goods. Happy brewing!



Decklists for this episode can be viewed at


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Flashback: Yorion, Sky Nomad



Niv Fires 1.0 (Dan): 4-1 league

Niv Fires 1.1 (Dan): 3-2 league

Doom Foretold 1.0 (Damon): 2-3 league

Doom Foretold 1.1 (Damon): 5-0 league

GW Enchantress (Dan): 2-3 league



4c Yorion Blink (David): 5-5 leagues



Brew Session: Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast



Sketch 1: 4c Lukka Cat Combo (Modern)


Sketch 2: Gruul Lukka Ramp (Pioneer)


Sketch 3: Lukka Creativity (Pioneer)


Sketch 4: Treacherous Winota (Standard)





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