Faithless Brewing MTG: Modern and Pioneer for the Spike Rogue
Jolrael Empress of BEATS (ft. ManaCymbal)

Jolrael Empress of BEATS (ft. ManaCymbal)

July 31, 2020

Core Set 2021, Episode 6: Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse


What happens when you take a mechanic based on drawing extra cards, and move it out of Izzet colors and into Green? Does it somehow get a whole lot better? Jolrael thinks so, and we are inclined to agree. The empress of the Jamuraan jungles has gotten a lot leaner, fiercer, and more cat-friendly since we last saw her all the way back in Prophecy. As a splashable two-mana legend that generates tempo and card advantage every turn, Jolrael seems to have all the right moves for both Modern and Pioneer, so let's see what she can do!



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Roundup: Brewers' Mailbag ft. ManaCymbal


Where to find Zach:

Links to Zachs' YouTube, Twitter, etc. can be found here


Flashback: Mazemind Tome


Blue Moon (Damon): 4-1 league

Eldrazi Tron: 5-4 ManaTraders Qualifiers

Classic Dice Factory (by Hampuse1): 2-3 league

Saheeli Dice Factory (by Brian M): 3-2 league

Blue Tron (by Lordofthelobsters): 3-0 league


UB Tome Diviner (David, Zach): 4-1 league, 3-2 league


Mazemind Niv (by Grixisism)

Esper Maze-Seize (by Spotred)


Brew Session: Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse




Sketch: Jolrael's Shadow

Sketch: Bant Jolrael

Sketch: Temur Tokens

Sketch: Jolrael GW Taxes

Sketch: Jolrael UG Kinnan




Sketch: Jolrael Delirium

Sketch: Bant Cycling

Sketch: Jundrael Enchantress








The New Sylvan Library: Brewing Mazemind Tome

The New Sylvan Library: Brewing Mazemind Tome

July 24, 2020

Core Set 2021, Episode 5: Mazemind Tome


M21's Mazemind Tome certainly looks unassuming. For a small 2-mana down payment, you get the option to "crack a Clue," as it were, by paying another 2-mana installment. If you don't want to spend mana, you can trade a Clue for a scry 1. Do that four times, then collect 4 life. Sounds simple enough. Can a bootleg Tireless Tracker really set the Modern format on fire?


Well, don't take our word for it, just ask the Eldrazi Tron players who have adopted this card en masse while surging to the top of the metagame in the wake of last week's B&R. You can blame those players too for the Sylvan Library comparison: it's not that there is an actual mechanical similarity between the two cards, but exude that same energy of "I've got this": if you get your engine down safely and have a few turns to extract value from it, you feel like a million bucks.


The beautiful thing about Tome is that it is colorless and cheap, which means it can potentially fit in a host of different strategies. It's not exactly a "build-around," as it asks very little of you and mostly supports whatever else your deck is attempting. But it does its job efficiently and well, and who isn't in the market for a reserve supply of 4 Clues? We've asked the question, so we'll do our best to answer it this week with some new homes (and some old ones) for Mazemind Tome in both Modern and Pioneer. Happy brewing!



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Roundup: Modern + Pioneer After the B&R


UW SharkBlade (by HeyPharaoh, 2nd place Modern Champs)

Eldrazi Tron (by TheTunnelingCat, 1st place Modern Champs)

Mono-White Tokens (by Marxelo, 7-2 Modern Champs)

Fervent Sunforger (by qbturtle15, 5-0 Modern League)


Pioneer: Aggregate results from Challenge + last four Prelims (by FamousOnLine)


Flashback: Teferi, Master of Time


Teferi Delirium (Dan): 6-4 leagues (a "Robertson 9-1," three losses were timeouts)

Teferi Phoenix (David): 2-3 league

Izzet Moon (Damon): 3-2 league

UW Miracles (Dan): 2-3 league


Brew Session: Mazemind Tome


Reference: Blue Moon (Damon)

Reference: Eldrazi Tron (by TheTunnelingCat, 1st place Modern Champs)

Reference: Dice Factory (by Hampuse1, 5-0 Modern League)

Reference: Blue Tron (by Lordofthelobsters, 5-0 Modern League)

Reference: Skred Red (by utopia_mycon, 5-0 Modern League)


Sketch 1: Klothys Prison

Sketch 2: Tome Diviner



Teferi Is Better than Jace, Change My Mind

Teferi Is Better than Jace, Change My Mind

July 17, 2020

Core Set 2021, Episode 4: Teferi, Master of Time


Recently, certain members of the Faithless Brewing brain trust expressed skepticism that new Teferi could ever possibly be better than Jace, the Mind Sculptor (I won't name names, so let's just call them D***). How could any 2UU walker ever compete with JTMS, perhaps the greatest planeswalker of all time? But here's the thing: they don't write the show notes.


This week, we settle the score once and for all by putting Teferi through his paces in four different archetypes. And we do so set against the brave new landscapes of two formats completely refreshed by this week's B&R announcement. The metagame is brand new! Anything is possible now in Modern and Pioneer! .... ***wait, what's that? oh.... Modern only? no bans this week in Pioneer? awkward...*** Correction: Modern looks brand new and Pioneer looks as healthy and balanced as ever, so let's forge ahead!



Decklists for this episode can be viewed at


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Notable decks from around the leagues:

Chromatic Combo Tron (by Trellon, 5-0 league)

Liliana 8-Rack (by D00mwake, 5-0 league)

Sultai Neo-Evolution (by sivek, 5-0 league)


Flashback: Archfiend's Vessel


Abzan Horse Vessel: 1-4 league

BW Liliana’s Vessels: 4-1 league, 3-2 league

Archfiend Jund: 2-3 league


Brew Session: Teferi, Master of Time


Sketch 1: Te4eri Delirium (Pioneer)

Sketch 2: Te4eri Phoenix (Pioneer)

Sketch 3: Izzet Rielle (Modern)

Sketch 4: UW Miracles (by Zach Allen, Top 8 Modern Challenge)



Big Surprises in Tiny Archfiend’s Vessels

Big Surprises in Tiny Archfiend’s Vessels

July 10, 2020

Core Set 2021, Episode 3: Archfiend's Vessel


Archfiend's Vessel is a card to make your jaw drop. 5/5 flying? For a single black mana? Move over, Gurmag Angler; where can we sign up?


As with most demonic bargains, the truth is that Archfiend's Vessel is rife with hidden costs. On the surface, the bargain is simple: kill my vessel, then bring it back for demonic fun and profit. But the card gives no guidance on how we are actually supposed achieve this. A 1/1 lifelink is not a relevant combat creature, so you can't rely on your opponent to kill the Vessel for you. And it's not like "reanimate a creature" is an effect that just gets thrown around for free. Once you set out to solve all the puzzles, the Archfiend might not feel like such a bargain after all. But, as we know, there's only one way to find out, so let's build some decks!


Meanwhile, around the Multiverse: a surprise B&R announcement has us putting on our speculation hats again, this time for both Pioneer and Modern. There's plenty that we'd like to see changed, but the timing of the announcement is also suspicious: is it possible that something will be freed from B&R purgatory? We make our best guesses before the bombshell is dropped on Monday. Also on the Flashback: our testing results with Silversmote Ghoul.



Decklists for this episode can be viewed at


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Roundup: B&R Predictions


Modern Predictions


Pioneer Predictions


Flashback: Silversmote Ghoul


Mardu Helix (Modern): 3-2 league


WB Silversmote Midrange (Pioneer): 1-4 league


Sultai Blood for Ghoul (Pioneer): 1-4 league


Sultai Jolrael Delirium (Pioneer): 4-1 league



Brew Session: Archfiend's Vessel




Four Conceptual Challenges


Reanimation Options




Reference: BR Lurrus Rites (by Wolfie98, 4-1 Pioneer preliminary)


Sketch 1: Rakdos Archfiend Rites (Modern)


Brainstorm: Archfiend Pox (Modern)


Sketch 2: Abzan Collected Sacrifice (Pioneer)


Sketch 3: Abzan Horse Rallier (Pioneer)




Confessions of a Smitten Ghoul

Confessions of a Smitten Ghoul

July 3, 2020

Core Set 2021, Episode 2: Silversmote Ghoul


Life comes at you fast when you're a 200-year-old vampire. One day, you're a suave, brooding heartthrob, the envy of your high school. Your skin sparkles in sunlight, you play baseball during thunderstorms, and you just proposed to your girlfriend the day after her prom (that's not weird at all, right?). Here's hoping Bella says yes!


Then, one day, some Hero McJerkface sticks a silver dagger in your back, and suddenly you're a Zombie Vampire. You're now 200% undead, your hair starts to fall out, and when you look in the mirror... yikes. Such is the life of a silver-smitten ghoul. Tough break, Edward!


Nobody asked for a Twilight meets World War Z crossover, and to be honest nobody asked for Silversmote Ghoul either. But it's here, and it's free, so we should probably take a very close look. The new Prized Amalgam has a unique trigger condition and has already made a splash in both Modern and Pioneer, thanks to the incidental lifegain tacked onto format staples like Creeping Chill and Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. We've got seven new Ghoul lists this week, plus more coming down the pipeline.


Also in this edition: a first look at M21 tournament finishes; our testing results with Conspicuous Snoop; and a difficult listener question about the future of Pioneer and Historic. Let's dive in!


Roundup: First Results with M21


03:46  Conspicuous Snoop

04:38 Frantic Inventory


07:21 Stormwing Entity

Izzet Prowess (by Spiderspace, 5-0 league)

Temur Delver (by TubbyBatman, 5-0 league)


10:34 Chandra’s Incinerator

Mono-Red (by Cherryxman, 5-0 league)


14:46 Thieves Guild Enforcer

Grixis Vantress Delver (by RogerSteady, Top 8 Modern Challenge)


Fierce Empath

Amulet Titan (by Moniz0801, Top 16, Modern Challenge)


18:51 Sublime Epiphany

Simic Reclamation (by talos41, T16 Pioneer Challenge) 


23:00 Eliminate vs Heartless Act


25:41 Lofty Denial + Shacklegeist

UW Spirits (by Phil_Hellmuth, 5-0 league)


28:45 Selfless Savior

GW Devoted Druid (by Meanfannypack, 5-0 league)


30:20 Teferi, Master of Time

Modern Bant Snow (by McWinSauce, T16 Modern Challenge)

Pioneer Esper Control (by killersuv, T32 Pioneer Challenge)

Worldgorger Dragon Combo (by fire10798, Legacy Challenge Winner)


32:58 Silversmote Ghoul


33:36 Mailbag: The Future of Pioneer and Historic



Flashback: Conspicuous Snoop




55:40 "Classic" Snoop (by Sebastian Steuckl): 1-4 league

59:50 "Double Combo" Snoop: 3-2 league

1:03:06 5-Discard Snoop (by kanister, 5-0 league)



1:13:59 Snoopwhacker Aggro: 1-4 league

1:15:40 Snoopcleaver Aggro: 3-2 league



Brew Session: Silversmote Ghoul



1:25:54 Sketch 1: Mardu Helix (Modern)

1:32:16 Sketch 2: Sultai Ghoul Emerge (Pioneer)

1:35:53 Sketch 3: Sultai Dredge (Pioneer)

1:41:48 Sketch 4: Abzan Energy (Pioneer)

1:45:47 Sketch 5: Silversmote Vampires (Pioneer)

1:48:56 Sketch 6: Blood for Bones Reanimator (Pioneer)

1:51:48 Sketch 7: Jolrael Sultai (Pioneer)


Reference lists:

Silversmote Dredge (by Sodeq, T4 Modern Challenge)

Sultai Dredge Emerge (by AlexFiero, 5-0 League)

Sultai Dredge (by PigNorton, 5-0 League)

Sultai Reanimator (by illsicknasty, 12-3 Leagues)


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