Video Daily Digest: Jeff Hoogland’s Eldrazi Evolution

Jeff Hoogland makes wild deck choices sometimes, but Ross Merriam has nothing but respect for his latest Modern Eldritch Evolution deck!

It appears old Hoogs is at it again.

Jeff Hoogland, notable for his love of Eldritch Evolution and the creature-centric, toolboxy decks it fits into, has found a new shell for the card that, while less versatile than the many-color versions he used to champion, is incredibly powerful.

That power comes from the fact that many of the narrowly powerful singletons in those versions of the deck have been replaced by the Eldrazi, a creature type that is synonymous with power and just so happens to fit quite nicely next to Eldritch Evolution.

The obvious tool here is Matter Reshaper, which provides a bit of value on its way out and curves beautifully with a mana creature or Eldrazi Temple to let you evolve it into a Reality Smasher or Thought-Knot Seer on Turn 3. Should the Reshaper leave you with another creature or land on the battlefield, you’re going to be quite far ahead, and even if you have to settle for drawing a card, your hand is flush with action to follow up the initial threat.

The support cards are more typical of an Eldritch Evolution deck, with great fodder in Kitchen Finks and Voice of Resurgence that fill out the curve nicely when the Eldrazi occupy the high end. Eldrazi Displacer bridges the gap between the two themes perfectly, and while it doesn’t have much synergy with Eldritch Evolution, it gives the deck a card that can dominate the battlefield in creature mirrors, important for a color combination that lacks removal. You’re going to be tutoring for this one in the late-game more often than you think.

The singletons in the maindeck are quite disciplined, with only an Eternal Witness for late-game optionality, a Thragtusk for some lifegain, and a splashed Orzhov Pontiff that’s just a versatile card against a lot of things in Modern. Most of the toolbox is to be found in the sideboard, so you’re never left drawing weak cards in Game 1.

As an effective three-color deck, you might think the manabase would suffer, but there are lots of good options for colorless mana. Brushland and Eldrazi Temple are the automatics, but Woodland Bastion helps you cast your heavy-colored cards more easily and the recently printed Hashep Oasis gives you a bit of utility from your manabase at very little cost. It won’t come up that often, but when it does, you’ll be very happy. Note that targeting Birds of Paradise and Reality Smasher is particularly good.

I like to give Jeff a lot of grief about some of his more undisciplined deckbuilding choices (Nightveil Specter plus Polukranos, Wold Eater…), but this deck is well-conceived and well-constructed. Keep your eye on this one.