Combo In Modern: Part 2

If he didn’t go over it last week, Gerry Thompson will cover it in this article: any marginal Modern combo deck is here, including Retether, Eggs, Through the Breach ramp, and more.

Welcome back everyone. This is where the fun starts.

Before Worlds, I saw a cascade/Fist of the Suns deck on Magic-League. Surely, casting Emrakul as early as turn three or four would be awesome, right? I
sent Chapin a message, asking if he had any ideas in mind, but he wasn’t interested.

A few months later I was playing in a Modern eight-man, and decided to watch Owen’s round one match. Imagine my surprise seeing him trying to Fist a
Mono-Red deck. Surprisingly, he lost.

As suggested in the forums of Owen’s article on the deck, I would look at replacing some number of Time of Needs with Ancient Stirrings. Otherwise,
it’s clear Owen has put some thought into the deck. It’s well-constructed, but is that good enough?

From my experience, it wasn’t. If they had any piece of disruption, like Ancient Grudge, Thoughtseize, or Spell Pierce, you were kind of screwed.
If my combo was super insane, I might be fine with that, but it wasn’t. It was a turn four deck in a sea of turn four decks, all of which had
better pieces than I did.

Rating: 5/10

Definitely an interesting take on Storm. This is just another example of how restriction—in this case most likely budget concerns—breeds
creativity. This deck likely has insane Past in Flames turns, but the U/R version kills just as well. I guess if a Martyr deck is at 40 life or
something, then it matters more, but Pyromancer’s Swath usually does the same thing.

One of the main drawbacks to this version is the lack of Echoing Truth and ways to deal with Rule of Law in general. At the end of the day, it’s
still a Storm deck, and Storm is still good.

Rating: 6/10

Ramp strategies don’t really fall under the combo/control/aggro spectrum, but in this format it’s closer to combo, especially since this
one has basically zero control elements. All it wants to do is attack with an Emrakul as quickly as possible, and when you say it like that, the deck
sounds pretty bad. It just doesn’t do that any better than the other Through the Breach decks.

Summoning Trap is nice, but that’s not enough. Tooth and Nail might be an option, but not a good one. Through the Breach is almost always going to be

Rating: 5/10

This deck was pretty good in Standard when it was legal, but not so much in Modern. There isn’t much to say except that it’s slow, unstable, and

On the bright side, the sideboard options are pretty cool. Against Twin, you could always cascade into a Torpor Orb if you want. Echoing Truth and
Ancient Grudge will ruin your day though. The Ethersworn Canonist plan is pretty bad, since it shuts down any future cascades. If you want something
against combo, Mindbreak Trap is an option.

If I wanted to play a deck like this, it would be the Treasure Hunt/Lightning Storm version.

Rating: 5/10

I have no idea what the optimal version of the Egg deck is. Regardless, it’s like Storm, but has more turn three kills, and lot higher amount of
straight fizzles. It’s also very weak to graveyard hate.

If you want any further proof of its mediocrity, ask Steve Sadin how he did at Pro Tour Berlin.

Rating: 5/10

I doubt this will ever be better than Storm. You still kind of get hosed by Rule of Law effects, and graveyard hate is a huge problem. If you
absolutely want to connect with an Emrakul, this is probably the best deck to do it, but just know you’re fighting an uphill battle.
There’s a lot of hate right now.

Rating: 5/10

I think I’d go with Gaurav’s list over Shaheen’s. Reliance on Magus of the Bazaar kind of sucks, and Gaurav’s Peer Through
Depths can find every combo piece. If I wanted to reanimate something, it would probably be Protean Hulk since it actually kills them. Playing with a
bunch of dead cards kind of sucks though.

Another thing to note is that the above three lists were from Pro Tour Philly, so Ponder and Preordain need to become their weaker cousins.

Rating: 5/10

I’ve liked this deck a lot, but again, the hate is tough. On top of losing to Rule of Law, Ancient Grudge is also insurmountable.

Blowing up the world is pretty awesome though.

Rating: 5/10

I like the look of Heartbeat, but it’s probably just worse than Storm. Rather than playing a bunch of rituals, you need a Heartbeat and multiple
Early Harvests. Your setup cards might be a touch better, but that just means you’re slower.

Casting Praetor’s Council though? I’d love to.

Rating: 5/10

The next few lists are just brews that I came up with. Splicing a combo onto another has proved beneficial in the past, so I went out of my way to see
what I could come up with.

A deck like this would love Simian Spirit Guide, but he’s not too awesome to Polymorph into. Another thing to note is that if you’re
Polymorphing off a Blinkmoth Nexus (which could be Khalni Garden), you still have a chance to hit a Dryad Arbor.

There are clearly a few kinks to work out.

Rating: 4/10

The goal here is to Polymorph into Emrakul or assemble one of the Intruder Alarm combos. You have Sprout Swarm, or Forbidden Orchard plus Lifespark
Spellbomb, but with the latter, you need something to do with all your mana. In this case, that means Emrakul. Maybe Through the Breach could be
incorporated here as well.

There’s another version that’s basically an Elf deck with Imperious Perfect and Sprout Swarm. I’m not quite sure who that’s
good against, but it’s something.

Rating: 4/10

I kind of like this deck actually. Scepter/Silence can be very powerful. Much like in the Enduring Ideal deck, Silence can be a pseudo-Time Walk,
annihilate a combo deck, or force out a counterspell. Maybe I’m just on a Polymorph high, but come on, Emrakul is awesome!

There probably aren’t enough control elements, and maybe Isochron Scepter is good enough, but it might be better without the Polymorph package.

Rating: 4/10

This might be a little more than the tip of the iceberg, but there’s still plenty of crazy things out there. The other day, I ran into a Master
Transmuter deck fueled by Heartless Summoning and Etherium Sculptor.

Shape Anew is a fine Polymorph variant; Enduring Renewal once fueled a powerful combo deck; I’ve seen some Pili-Pala/Grand Architect lists out
there; Dragonstorm is still a card; Necrotic Ooze still exists. Spellweaver Helix and Pyromancer Ascension are other cards that combo players love.

Salvage Titan is another sweet card that isn’t getting any love. Patrick Chapin once asked me, “If you could have any seven-drop creature
in play on turn two, what would it be?”

The joke was turn one Birds of Paradise, turn two Mox Opal, Birthing Pod, Salvage Titan. You probably need a Simian Spirit Guide, Memnite, and/or
Darksteel Citadel in there, but it’s still crazy to think about.

Before we go, I’d like to share another couple of fun lists. I’ll be honest though—I have no idea how to make these the best they can

The manabase could be better, but I wanted the maximum amount of Forests for Utopia Sprawl. Maybe there’s something spicy that could be splashed
like Blood Moon?

I’m sure Hedron Crab could fit in there somewhere too. I just wanted to build this version to utilize the other cheap ways to attack with Eldrazi
Conscription like Academy Researchers and Arcanum Wings.

Happy brewing!