Daily Digest: Evolution

Why does Eldritch Evolution just have to combo? Why don’t you just use it as a value Green Sun’s Zenith and kill people? Ross Merriam provides some beautiful simplicity! Shoutout to this IQ finalist for an excellent potential SCG Dallas deck!

Eldritch Evolution was supposed to be the next best thing in Modern for green creature decks, but that didn’t really happen. One factor is that Devoted Druid got a new best friend in Vizier of Remedies and those decks all want Chord of Calling next to their Collected Companys. But what if Eldritch Evolution pilots have been getting too fancy?

Magic is about getting your opponent dead. You don’t get style points here or a curved score for degree of difficulty. There are no corrupt French judges hindering your path to glory. So let’s stop putzing around and use Eldritch Evolution to apply some good, old-fashioned beatdowns.

The best fodder for Eldritch Evolution is Voice of Resurgence, followed closely by Kitchen Finks. How do we beatdown with these cards? Wilt-Leaf Liege. Evolve either fodder creature into the double-lord and you have at least eight power on the battlefield. The rest of the creature suite is comprised of efficient attacking machines in Knight of the Reliquary and Loxodon Smiter and a few well-planned bullets because unfortunately you have to stop attacking and actually interact with your opponents on some turns.

Qasali Pridemage, Scavenging Ooze, and Gaddock Teeg all fit the deck perfectly, Teeg notably shutting off the more common spells in green creature mirrors while leaving your Evolutions untouched. Cataclysmic Gearhulk and Thragtusk are both great at catching up from behind, which is what you want from your five-drops, while Sigarda, Host of Herons gives you the ability to take to the skies.

The one strange choice is the splash card: Nissa, Steward of Elements. But as these green creature decks condense their curves around the two and three slots, this card becomes quite powerful. You can land it on turn 2 on a safe battlefield, set up your draws with the +2, and then start pumping out creatures and lands with the 0. It’s also a nice mana sink for a deck that has about half its deck devoted to mana generation.

You don’t always have to do the coolest, flashiest thing in order to win games. Simple, yet effective is often the mantra of the most successful decks and that’s what’s going on here. There’s enough resilience to grind through removal, but plenty of firepower so you can effectively pressure control decks and race combo decks.

Remember: It doesn’t matter how many cards they’ve drawn if they’re dead.