Theros Beyond Death, Episode 11: Brew Review #2
We asked our listeners to send in their spiciest brews featuring cards from Theros: Beyond Death. As always, they delivered. In this edition of the Brew Review, we talk through a dozen slick new lists, spanning the full spectrum of rogue strategies in Modern and Pioneer. Archive Trap control? Check. Soulherder with Avalanche Riders? Check. Ayula's Influence Loam? You got it. Mono-red IMMINENT DOOM? Do you even have to ask?
Join us this week for a walk through the collected creativity of the Faithless Family, and be sure to check out the decklists and writeups in the notes below. Oh, and we also took our Narset Undoing to a 5-0 last week in Pioneer. The deck looked solid across five full leagues; we'll get you up to speed on all the details!
Decklists for this episode can be viewed at FaithlessBrewing.com
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Flashback: Narset, Parter of Veils
Narset Undoing: 16-9 (5 leagues)
(David’s match vs. Zan Syed can be viewed here)
Narset Turns: 1-4 league
Temur Turns (by Daniel Wong): 3-2 league
Narset Undoing: 0-3 league
Brew Review: Theros Edition
1. Dimir Trap Control (by Soren W.)
2. AyUro's Influence (by Drej)
3. Temur Urzo (by Zach aka ManaCymbal)
4. Soulrider (by Collin aka blak fishy)
5. Heliod Devotion (by Lanny Huang)
6. Soul Sisters (by Paimon)
7. Heliod Company (by Been395)
8. Scarlet Grinding Breach (by Josh aka Auralox)
Bonus: Green/Blue Control (by Peacharita)
9. Here Comes the Doom (by KilgoreTrout503)
10. Spaghetti Flash (by nonstripedzebra)
11. Rakdos Kroxa (by Illsicknasty)
Bonus: Scion of Whirza (by Brian M)
Bonus: Human Revolution (by nonstripedzebra)
Bonus: Red Fell Revolver (by KilgoreTrout503)
1. Dimir Trap Control by Soren W. (Modern)
My deck is an evolution of a deck from your Vantress Gargoyle Episode that I just can’t seem to put down. It is the Trap control deck that you folks mentioned as potentially “Secretly Excellent.” I’ve been working on it now for quite sometime and I’ve changed the deck pretty heavily as I’ve learned it and addressed changes in the metagame. At this point I’ve played 175 games online with this and have gone 101-74 good for a 57.7% mwp. Enough to keep me from bleeding tickets, but maybe not amazing? I’m really happy with 65 of 75 cards but still feel like there is room for innovation.
Game 1 the deck attempts to play multiple Ancestral Recalls in the form of Visions of Beyond that are enabled by Thoughtscours and Archive Traps. It's not a traditional Mill build that has a critical mass of library removal as fast as possible, but rather a control deck that aims to drag the game out to the point where you are drowning in card advantage and your opponents are drowning in your Drown in the Lochs. You get to almost completely blank their removal game one and in game two you pull a switcheroo, bringing in Things and Kalitis.
The biggest change in the meta, was the introduction of the escape-elders, Kroxa and Uro. When these first became popular in the MTGO meta, I thought this deck was finished, I could not beat one G1 since I essentially always draw them for my opponent, and they turn off my Ancestral Recalls, IttS, and DitLs. I lost sooo many matches to those, until I discovered Cling to Dust. This has been a surprisingly amazing card, that has blanked Snapcasters and E-Wits, exiled shrunk Goyfs, turned off Delirium, all while cantripping! That doesn’t even cover the incidental lifegain and rebuying ability from the escape side. I’ve become a true believer in this card and wouldn’t be playing the deck without it.
Good match-ups include: Control*, Hard Combo (Ad Nauseam, Goryos, Neo-Brand, Storm, Titanshift), Niv :) , Non-“Go-wide” Aggro (Burn, Infect, Red Prowess), Tron, Urza*.
Average Match-Ups include: Death’s Shadow w/o Stubborn Denial, Druid Combo, E-Tron, Jund, UG Titan Ramp.
Poor Match-ups include: CrabVine, “Go-Wide” Aggro (Elves, Goblins, Humans, Spirits, Zoo), Death’s Shadow with Stubbs, Mill, RG Klothys Moon.
* How strong the deck feels, really depends on their build. The more Uros there are, generally the less good I feel even with C2D.
2. AyUro’s Influence by Drej (Modern)
Note: needs to be updated post-Once Upon a Time
I've been playing pioneer gitrog and have had a blast playing it. One card I've wished I had access to is obviously Life from the Loam. As I was thinking about building a deck around the two, I stumbled upon Ayula's Influence aka Bear Vortex.
So simple ideas: 1) ramp with lands 2) play gitrog 3) play Ayula's .... ????) Bear-pocalypse. So the play pattern is - play gitrog, discard land to Ayula's, draw a card off trigger, make lots of bears. Lots of bears. Dredging Liam and hitting lands also gives you a second draw. Lots of cute interactions.
Uro is the reason this deck is functional. Full stop. The black green version, I recently piloted and bombed with, can attest to this. So many things that he does, changes burn damage, puts lands on the board, churns through the deck. The game plan with uro isn't to escape him ASAP. It's more growth spiral with late game power. The feeling of getting into the late game top deck mode and having the option to play a 6/6 threat that needs specific removal is amazing. Also blue let's you get mystical dispute... so that's gotta stay.
My thoughts on the deck - it's awesome. The nut draw of T1 Sakura, T2 influence, T3 gitrog, opponents end step make 10 bears is something that everyone needs to experience. The fundamental fear I have is that it's a "fairish" graveyard deck. It's not dredge, it's not hogaak, it won't blow people out of the water.
Which is why I made it a land based deck - every card does something, no bad top decks (ish). I recently rediscovered blast zone and discovered the new Labyrinth card. The dream of removing a battle raged death shadow from combat keeps me up at night. Lastly- big shout out to Witch's Cottage - awesome card with Druid of the Willy Wonka Forest.
Wrenn vs Loam - you can make more than one bear with loam. Also it fills up your graveyard for uro, and crime and more loams and more of the functional lands. Also 4 color would be tougher, Uro is a must stay
3. Temur Urzo by Zach Ryl aka ManaCymbal (Modern)
Here's mine from a few months back. If I were to update it for now I'd try to get some trackers into the main, and maybe switch out the rebukes for Archmage's Charms? but it really depends on how I feel about the meta at the moment.
The core concept was marrying my favorite card in modern, from then until now, Wrenn and Six, with the UG fair Urza midrange deck, another joy of mine. The crypts in the main and the EE are definintely debatable, and I'd be interested to know if you guys have any thoughts about how big each package should be. I'm not REALLY comfortable with wrenn and Six being paired with Less than 23 lands, but I wonder if I can go with closer to the 4c snow mana base with a pile of field of ruins, and a couple of cycle lands, instead of playing sanctuary, or if I want to do that too.
Uro is also an interesting thing to try to make work, I think 2 might be the right number. The artifact package's size is also an important design axis. 4 Emry really encourages a high density of cheap artifacts to get her on the board. Also a Saheeli has been nuts at some times.
4. Soulrider by Collin aka blak fishy (Modern)
If you want to curve Goose into Soulherder into Avalanche Riders and kill 2 of your opponent's lands on turn 3 then this is the modern deck for you! With no conceivable bad matchups except Legacy Manaless Dredge you will be sure to clean up your modern leagues in no time. Warning, this deck may only be safe to play online: Tron players have been rumored to call a judge and ask if Riders is even legal then berate the opponent with such insults as "play a real deck."
5. Mono-White Devotion by Lanny Huang (Modern)
Here's a post theros update to Craig Wescoe's mono-white devo. I'm gonna take it for a spin and maybe update it to be more aggressive or more prison-y. Considering a lot of stuff for this, maybe a charming prince/wall of omens/thraben inspector package, maybe a benalish marshall, history of benalia theme package. For historical reference, here's Wescoe's original GP list: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1706917#online
My biggest concern is the 'land tax' effects are too durdly and there's no way to leverage them into an advantage. I think I'd want to cut them entirely for something more proactive but I'm also worried that takes too much away from the devotion package, having not tested yet.
6. Heliod Sisters by Paimon (Modern)
I stole a bunch of ideas from the last time you guys talked about white devotion in modern and made: I've played it all of once. Against mono-red prowess. The player was new to the deck, so it might not be as easy a match as it seemed. But then again, it seemed like if I drew my lands on time, I won. It feels greedy, but I want to put Archangel of Thune into the sideboard.
7. Heliod Company by Been395 (Modern)
8. Scarlet Grinding Breach by Josh aka Auralox (Modern)
A mostly mono-red shell for the Grinding Station+Underworld Breach combo lines in Modern. Splashing black for its fine interaction and removal options. Open to input and suggestions!
Scrap trawler+sword in gy and zero drop gets the ball rolling with a grinding station in play Sword in graveyard and station and trawler in play. Memnite in hand. But you can get there other ways too
The goblin engineer can help set up the sword in the graveyard as well as retrieve needed bits later on. The fallback plan is to rebuy galv blast with breach, but we don’t need as much mana fixing since red is already our base color so I reduced the astrolabe to 2
The Pia Nalaar (which are strangely Legendary) are still in the sideboard from an with experiment where I ran 2 mox amber, but I found that just a bit more than I could fit in…
The last line to mention is the wishclaw talisman line, you can sac it to station before your opponent gets a chance to use it which always just feels great.
Bonus: Green/blue Control by Peacharita (Modern)
Note: needs to be updated post-Once Upon a Time
Here’s my updated mono green control w/ blue splash since oko and lattice got banned. Deck feels lacking without something else like trinisphere to slow the game down that you can jam on t2. Using primal command to time walk the opponent and search up silver bullet creatures that can be looped with eternal witness and thassa is big game, and flickering coatl and acidic slime is sweet value. Just needs something to jam on t2 that impedes opponents gameplan similar to trinisphere or oko.
9. Here Comes the Doom by Jason (aka KilgoreTrout) (Pioneer)
It needs tweaking for consistency, but man it is fun. When it goes off, sometimes youbjsut clear a board. T2 Soul-Scar, T2 Runaway Steam-Kin, T3 imminent, get a counter on steamkin, T4 cast 1cmc spell, 2cmc spell, attack with 4/4 steamkin, remove counters second mainphase to make 3 Mana for a 3cmc spell
Purphoros's Intervention is way better than I thought. A mainboard answer to a big dumb creature without casting multiple spells has been super useful.
Not sure on Satyr's Cunning or Escape Velocity. I have played a league with them yet. Put them in here as a discussion point. They allow you to get imminent doom triggers from the GY. Escape Velocity can get you the 1 and 2 CMC trigger
10. Spaghetti Flash by nonstripedzebra (Pioneer)
11. Rakdos Kroxa by Illsicknasty (Pioneer)
I haven’t played it against any top tier beside a my friends mono white, but if we in Portland get quarantined / school and work get shut down, It will finally give me a reason to learn MODO
Bonus: Scion of Whirza by Brian M (Pioneer)
(See Episode 46 for Dan's league play-through report of this deck)
My hypothesis was that Karn, Scion of Urza is basically unplayable unless you want the Karnstructs as there are typically better CA engines available than Karn. The Karnstructs are a bit weak to opposing chump blockers, so when I saw Shadowspear it seemed like the missing piece to make the Karnstructs playable. The goal of the deck is to drag the game long and eventually win through a massive Karnstruct strapped up with a Shadowspear. Alternatively flooding the board with Thopters can be an avenue to a win.
The area where the deck can suffer a bit is against other decks that can grind well. I've considered a splash into R for some additional interaction and ways to get a bit more aggro. I've also considered Green for Lifecraft Awakening and Uro, but that sort of pushes all in on the GY synergies whereas currently only Emry really cares about the yard.
Bonus: Human Revolution by nonstripedzebra (Pioneer)
Bonus: Red Fell Revolver by Jason aka Kilgore Trout (Pioneer)
Would love some help optimizing the numbers here: I keep tweaking how many pingers vs spells. Not sure if I want card draw main or if I should play it like burn (no card draw, all gas) The card draw spells are more triggers, which is why I have it built the way it currently is.
Bedlam Reveler has gotten stuck in my hand a few times. Would love to replace it. Was shocks 7-8 originally and that was feeling pretty good in the league