Video Daily Digest: Cheery Oath

The curve in Modern starts at zero mana, and this isn’t going to change if a crazy deck like this gets its footing! Be on the look out for this one at the Modern event at Grand Prix Vegas! Ross Merriam battles a round to see what it’s capable of!

The Devoted DruidVizier of Remedies combo has already made an indelible mark on the Modern format, immediately putting Collected Company back into the spotlight after a lengthy hiatus from the top tables.

Abzan variants have taken the spotlight as the most obvious shell in which to put the combo, but as I expanded on in a recent article, I have an issue with those lists as being too reliant on the combo relative to other Collected Company decks, both today and in the past. If you’re going to be a dedicated combo deck, it’s often best to go all-in on it, eschewing any and all back-up plans from the maindeck in favor of the power, speed, and consistency that linearity affords you.

This list certainly does that, playing a selection of cheap cantrips that serve two purposes. One, they give a non-blue deck significant velocity to find the two combo pieces quickly or to recover from disruption. Second, they all put different card types in the graveyard to enable delirium, thus allowing the deck to play Traverse the Ulvenwald as a near Demonic Tutor.

The other cards that dig further than one deep are also incredibly cheap, one mana to be precise. Oath of Nissa and Commune with Nature are the most efficient cards in green to tear through your deck in search of creature combo pieces.

But being all-in on a creature combo means more than being able to consistently assemble the combo. You have to be able to protect it, and once again this list has the most efficient card for the purpose: Pact of Negation. We’ve gone from one mana to zero mana so you can defend the combo as early as possible. Notably, you can occasionally pay for a Pact of Negation with a well-timed Manamorphose should you have five mana lying around so it’s not completely dead outside of a combo turn.

And the last and truest sign of being all-in is in the mana base. Hall of the Bandit Lord? Well, one of the issues with the combo is that Devoted Druid needs to be in play for a turn for it to work, which is why the Collected Company variants like to put it on the battlefield at instant speed. With Hall of the Bandit Lord you threaten to go off on any turn where you start with access to another source of mana. Good combo decks put the fear in their opponents and cause them to play scared, and Hall serves that function admirably here.

You can see the sideboard has some options for playing fair against heavy disruption decks, although I’m still not sure if Qasali Ambusher was a typo of some kind or a techy answer for edict effects. This deck is definitely wonky, and the combo may be too easy to interact with to build a deck around, but I can always respect someone who has a plan and wants to go for it.