A Splendid Omen For Modern

Pro Tour Champion Shaun McLaren hates when cards that could dominate formats are undervalued! That’s precisely the reason he’s ready to sing the praises of one of Eldritch Moon’s biggest sleeper hits!

Eldritch Moon is packed full of interesting and powerful cards.

There are cards that get their cost reduced with emerge, cards that get more powerful when your graveyard is filled with delirium, tribal synergies, and even Big Furry Monsters. There are plenty of unique effects that haven’t been seen before alongside mechanics that have historically been completely broken.

I think one of those cards with a unique effect is especially splendid. Absolutely marvelous!

On the surface it might not look like much, but I think it has potential to be great.

As a four-mana ramp spell in Standard it could be very good.

Explosive Vegetation sees plenty of play in Ramp decks and Splendid Reclamation has potential to do much, much more.

Evolving Wilds works with it well. Magmatic Insight and Tormenting Voice also play with it nicely. An R/G Goggles Ramp deck would happily play a Splendid Reclamation and the deck could be dedicated to abuse it further. Blighted Woodland, Tireless Tracker, Jaddi Offshoot, Spawning Bed, Collective Defiance, The Great Aurora, and Chandra, Flamecaller all work with it well.

But I have my eyes set on a bigger prize: Modern.

So Fetch

With fetchlands involved, Splendid Reclamation could take on a whole new level of broken.

Which means we’re going to explore Modern first while trying to set up some splendiferous reclamations.

So what deck in Modern already loves to win with lands?

Here’s how I see Splendid Reclamation fitting into the Scapeshift equation.

Scapeshift decks have mostly hovered around the fringes of Modern playability without quite being amazing. I think that’s about to change.

First of all, let’s take a look at the card Prismatic Omen. Versions of Scapeshift featuring four Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and four Prismatic Omen are nothing new and have been around for a while, but they are not widely adopted as the superior strategy (although Brian Su would beg to differ, seeing as he just took down the Canadian WMCQ with Scapeshift this past weekend).

The strength of Prismatic Omen is not only that it turns all your lands into Mountains but that it specifically makes Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle a Mountain itself, so you can combo with Scapeshift on only six lands instead of the usual seven. Assuming you don’t already have any Valakuts on the battlefield, this allows you to search up four Valakuts and two other lands and do 72 damage (six lands entering the battlefield times four Valakuts times three damage each). All that from a measly six lands.

Prismatic Omen also makes it so you can easily win or clear the battlefield without Scapeshift at all. If you have six lands out, for every land you play (including your sixth land), you’re going to get a Lightning Bolt for every Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle you have on the battlefield. You can save up fetchlands (and tap them for mana, thanks to Prismatic Omen) to search for lands to trigger Valakut at instant speed as well.

Izzet Charm is one of the most exciting cards for the deck, since all three of its modes are going to regularly be useful and its versatility will be fantastic.

Its Spell Pierce mode will help disrupt the oppressive combo decks, protect your combo, and occasionally counter a Liliana of the Veil; Nahiri, the Harbinger; or Karn Liberated before they get going.

Its Shock mode will kill Blighted Agent, Steel Overseer, and Dark Confidant.

Its Faithless Looting mode is perhaps the most synergistic for the deck, since you’ll be able to dig for your important combo pieces and fill up your graveyard with lands at instant speed. Every land you end up discarding will often be more valuable than keeping it in your hand, since it’s going onto the battlefield when you cast Splendid Reclamation.

But what does the newest addition to the deck, Splendid Reclamation, really do to make the deck better?

It assists wonderfully with the Prismatic Omen and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle plan. It’s not difficult to imagine scenarios where it will act as Scapeshift and win you the game on only four lands. With Prismatic Omen and two Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle in the graveyard or the battlefield, casting Splendid Reclamation with any three lands in the graveyard will be eighteen damage. Anything beyond that will be more, and as the game progresses it will only get more deadly.

So how do we get lands in the graveyard quickly?

Conveniently, your graveyard will naturally be filling with lands thanks to fetchlands, which makes me want to fit more into the deck, but the manabase is already looking tight. That’s because Ghost Quarter is going to be one of the other main ways to get lands in our graveyard.

Ghost Quarter is already one of the best lands in Modern and we get to play the full four.

It’s great for picking off Eldrazi Temple, Urza’s Tower, Inkmoth Nexus, Raging Ravine, or an opponent’s Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Occasionally, it just acts as Strip Mine when your opponent is out of basic lands.

It doesn’t seem unreasonable, in longer drawn-out games, to just be gunning down all your opponent’s lands with multiple Ghost Quarters and Splendid Reclamations until they have nothing left.

Ghost Quarter also protects your Valakut, the Molten Pinnacles from being exiled by Crumble to Dust as long as you have Ghost Quarter up to destroy the Valakut in response. It even helps against Blood Moon by allowing you to search up an all important Forest or Island in response. (Although Prismatic Omen is already solid vs Blood Moon allowing your non-basics to tap for any color, but you can never be too safe from Blood Moon if you are a Scapeshift deck.)

The true money interaction that makes the card worth more than a Ghost Nickel or a Ghost Dime is when you want to cast Splendid Reclamation and have a Ghost Quarter on the battlefield. Just float a mana with any land that isn’t Ghost Quarter. Then sacrifice Ghost Quarter targeting that land, search up a basic, and cast Splendid Reclamation to get back Ghost Quarter and the land you destroyed. Spicy.

If you have five or more mana, feel free to just snipe one of your opponent’s important lands and then get back the Ghost Quarter.

Ghost Quarter is going to make a lot of extra damage when you have Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and Prismatic Omen on the battlefield and a Splendid Reclamation on the stack. You can also use Ghost Quarter on your own lands in the same way as fetchlands to find a land at instant speed to trigger Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle if you have seven lands and Prismatic Omen out. Just be careful that you don’t run out of basic lands to find.

There’s also just something nasty about leaving up Ghost Quarter for any color of mana, when Prismatic Omen is on the battlefield, to represent Strip Mine, Lightning Bolt, and Dispel.

Snapcaster Mage looks to be amazing in the deck, since there are not only Lighting Bolt, Remand, and Izzet Charm to recast but a game-ending Scapeshift or Splendid Reclamation as well.

Explore is the only ramp in the deck other than Splendid Reclamation, which might seem odd if you remember that, oh yeah, this is also a Scapeshift deck where you can just cast Scapeshift and win.

But Splendid Reclamation is probably all the heavy ramp you need, since it’s great at ramping you up to eight or more lands, which is good because there are a low number of Mountains in the deck and you might not have enough to win via Scapeshift on only seven lands if you’ve drawn or searched for too many. But once you can combo and get more than one Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, it won’t take many Mountains to win.

It’s possible the deck can cut some Scapeshifts for more card draw as well if the number of win conditions proves redundant.

Worldly Counsel also combos with Prismatic Omen, allowing you to look five cards deep to find what you need.

Magmatic Insight is solid for getting a land in the graveyard and churning through the deck, but there are plenty of options for card draw I’m considering.

Desperate Ravings can get a lands in the graveyard sometimes if you’re lucky, can be cast without lands in hand, and offers multiple uses.

Faithless Looting and Sylvan Scrying would be interesting in a version that aggressively tries to win by assembling Prismatic Omen; Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle; and Splendid Reclamation.

Life from the Loam is also a decent option for grindy matchups.

Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy seems like a nice option out of the sideboard if you expect little removal from your opponent, since it should be easy to flip and you’ll have plenty of juicy instants and sorceries to recast.

Boseiju, Who Shelters All works nicely with the theme by being a land and making your game-winners uncounterable.

Nature’s Claim, Repeal, and Engineered Explosives can deal with Blood Moon, but it’s possible you need to be even more prepared in that regard.

Alternate Versions

There likely some other directions you could go when building a deck with Splendid Reclamation in Modern.

For example you could focus on Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle; Prismatic Omen; and Splendid Reclamation but not have any Scapeshifts or Mountains or red cards. It could be a G/U Control deck or even add a different third color.

You could add Aggressive Mining to combo with Splendid Reclamation and even Harmless Offering to donate away the Aggressive Mining.

I don’ think these ideas are as powerful but they’re interesting to consider.

Reclaiming Modern

Is Splendid Reclamation going to improve Scapeshift decks, and if so, will it push Scapeshift to being one of the strongest decks in Modern?

Modern decks are fast and brutal. Infect is capable of killing on turn 2 without even breaking a sweat.

But Splendid Omenhift appears to have the tools necessary to fight back against a hostile format. It has solid early-game disruption, plenty of cantrips and redundancy, and a cheap powerful win condition that’s difficult to disrupt.

This list appears to be consistent and powerful to me. Obviously it will take some testing to really get a feel for the deck, but I’m optimistic that it may end up being a solid player in Modern.

What do you think? Did I miss a card that would be great in the deck? Is it perfect the way it is, or a lost cause? Let me know in the comments.