Eldrazi Decks For SCG Cleveland

“The Boss” thinks this Modern metagame needs an eldritch shake-up! He showcases a range of Eldrazi decks from Magic Online for SCG Cleveland before finishing with a unique take of his own!

It’s been a while since Eldrazi have run rampant in Modern. Eye of Ugin is long gone and other tribes have gotten support in the past few years to overtake them. Humans and Bant Spirits are creatures that appear in nearly every expansion set. Elves, Goblins, Merfolk, and other critters appear frequently enough to continuously improve their Modern archetypes.

Modern constantly churns and metagames adjust. When there are a lot of Lightning Bolts and mid-sized creatures that lose in combat, Eldrazi decks perform well. Burn decks are starting to prey on slow control decks, which is another advantage for Eldrazi. Of course, a Turn 2 Thought-Knot Seer can get the job done on its own any day of the week against anybody.

The sweet trick of this deck is to gain “an extra card or two” by exiling Eternal Scourge for value with pregame effects like Serum Power and Gemstone Caverns. Both cards provide effects that you want to be doing anyway, as Serum Powder aids in finding Eldrazi Temples, and Gemstone Caverns fuels the notorious Turn 1 Chalice of the Void.

For those paying attention to creature types, you might notice Horror on the type line, giving Eternal Scourge immunity from a Thing in the Ice transformation.

Scavenger Grounds clears the graveyards, which is doubly nice when you don’t use the graveyard yourself and want to get Eternal Scourge exiled if it died in combat or got discarded. In fact, nearly every land in the deck provides useful utility, oddly enough making drawing lands more useful than drawing non-Eldrazi spells in the late-game.

Gruul Eldrazi has gotten a couple of “rate” toys over the last year or so. Bloodbraid Elf came off the Banned List without really making much of a fuss. Gruul Spellbreaker is clearly strong on paper but hadn’t found a snug home in Modern. Along with Reality Smasher and Eldrazi Obligator, you have sixteen (!) haste creatures to play with. You can even argue that number to be higher since Bloodbraid Elf can hit Gruul Spellbreaker and Eldrazi Obligator some of the time and the Obligator can snag an opponent’s creature and give it haste until end of turn (read: the end of the game, since the game ends that turn).

Alpine Moon was a Core Set 2019 tool that allows the deck to attack Tron lands and sometimes Inkmoth Nexus without turning off everyone’s lands like from Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon. Damping Sphere may look like it’d do the trick too, but of course that nerfs Eldrazi Temple and makes cascading with Bloodbraid Elf awkward.

Domri, Chaos Bringer is a sweet planeswalker that’s easier on the mana to cast that Chandra, Torch of Defiance or Nissa, Vital Force. Useful anytime the opponent loads up on removal and you want another angle of attack.

The sweet gimmick here is to exile (sometimes temporarily) an opponent’s card and then process it into the opponent’s graveyard with Wasteland Strangler. The cheap two-for-one is much more effective when it also gets a card of your choice forever.

Kaya, Orzhov Usurper has been slowly becoming more popular in both Standard and Modern as a way to deal with early aggression and stabilize late with the lifegain. Interacting with graveyards incidentally is a huge draw for a Modern card, and Scavenging Ooze and Relic of Progenitus are popular maindeck choices for that reason. Now Kaya has joined that list.

Eldrazi Displacer goes off multiple ways in this deck. Blinking Thought-Knot Seer in the opponent’s draw step is a nightmare for them. The battlefield gets mowed down with Wasteland Strangler popping in and out. Tokens don’t stand a chance, and neither do opposing blockers.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Leonin Arbiter provide the “taxes” aspect of Eldrazi and Taxes. Not only are you cranking out cheap monsters with Aether Vial and Eldrazi Temple, you’re also slowing the opponent down on their progression – the true squeeze.

I’m taking a page out of Golgari Midrange’s book here with the suite of discard and removal. The manabase is held together by Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth to more consistently get double black for Liliana of the Veil and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. Raven’s Crime, Collective Brutality, and Liliana of the Veil are outlets to pitch extra copies.

It’s possible that we’re high on discard spells when playing Thought-Knot Seer, which means sometimes you won’t get a card with it and bleed a little value. With the uptick of synergy/spell-dense decks like Izzet Phoenix, I don’t mind much.

I’ve been liking Slaughter Pact lately now that people have forgotten that it exists. It pairs really well with Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet to get a Zombie token immediately without needing to untap with it. Offing a Thing in the Ice is big game, and even an Arclight Phoenix or Prized Amalgam is a nice swing.

How does Izzet Phoenix ever beat this?

Phyrexian Obliterator is sweet against any of the damage-based removal running around. The key notable here is that it’s a Horror, which avoids the bouncing from Thing in the Ice. This sideboard experiment is one of the reasons for four Urborgs in the maindeck.

Eldrazi for Cleveland

Small creature decks that go wide are popular right now in Dredge, Izzet Phoenix, Burn, and Humans. Slightly bigger is the way to go attack such a metagame. The “fair” versions of the past like Eldrazi Tron and Bant Eldrazi have fallen off the map. New takes that lean in their own proactive directions have been doing well.

If I’m going to face a lot of creatures in the upcoming Modern Open in Cleveland, I want to be on the side of the big, undercosted ones.