Video Daily Digest: Gifts Given

Ross takes a look at a Modern deck that acts like a few decks we’ve seen before, but that haven’t been put together quite like this! Well played, Cooper. Well played.

Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies is a very powerful combo. Enough so that it has assumed the mantle of creature combo archetypes in Modern. And if I’m being honest, that’s kind of a shame. Because that combo is so straightforward. Back in my day, we had to walk ten miles to school, uphill, in the snow, both ways.

Wait. That doesn’t sound right.

Back in my day, we had to assemble three different creatures to create a perpetual loop. Typically, it was Viscera Seer, Melira, Sylvok Outcast, and Kitchen Finks or Murderous Redcap to either gain an arbitrarily large amount of life or deal an arbitrarily large amount of damage. This combo lives on in some versions of Abzan Company, but it’s not nearly as ubiquitous as it once was because adding a third card to the combo makes assembling it so much more difficult.

You might think now that the Druid-Vizier combo does require three cards since you need something to sink that mana into, but being able to use the mana from the first two cards to cast the third is a significant speed boost.

Today’s list is a harkening back to those days, with so many convoluted combos and synergies, starting with Renegade Rallier + Viscera Seer + Saffi Eriksdotter to Renegade Rallier + Phantasmal Image to Gifts Ungiven + Unburial Rites, there’s going to be a learning curve here as you figure out everything the deck is capable of. Gifts Ungiven is already a tough card to play optimally, and this deck ratchets up the complexity with so many complicated interactions between its creatures.

But what reason do we have to play a more convoluted creature combo deck when Devoted Druid exists? Resilience. Devoted Druid and Vizier of Remedies are weak individual cards and that makes the decks built around them vulnerable to piles of removal; not a place where you want to be when Jeskai Control is so popular.

But this deck has powerful cards against control, like Voice of Resurgence and Renegade Rallier, and plenty of ways to gain card advantage against spot removal and sweepers. Viscera Seer is the only truly weak card, and it provides card selection while protecting Voice of Resurgence from Path to Exile; a minor, but important role.

This deck is like a toy built a hundred years ago: It may not be as flashy as your fancy iToys and Nintendo machines, but it’s built to last. You’re lucky you have anything. Back in my day we had to play Magic with sticks we found in the backyard between our shifts at the coal mine.