Video Daily Digest: The Red Faction

The Eldrazi terrorized Modern for quite a while, and everyone thinks the coast is clear for SCG Baltimore. Ross Merriam isn’t so sure! He smashes reality with the best of em here!

They were never able to make much of an impact in Standard, but the Eldrazi
triumvirate of Reality Smasher, Thought-Knot Seer, and Matter Reshaper
havel left an indelible mark on Modern.

The power of Eldrazi Temple and Eye of Ugin were key to accelerating these
undercosted threats onto the battlefield. When both were in the format
Eldrdazi absolutely dominated for several months, and now that we only have
the less explosive but more consistent of the two, the archetype has
settled into a solid player in the metagame, despite taking on several

First there was Bant, using Noble Hierarch as an additional accelerant
while including the late-game power of Eldrazi Displacer and Drowner of
Hope which made the U/W lists during Eldrazi Winter so formidable. More
recently we’ve seen a colorless version of the deck that uses Serum Powder
to add consistency to the deck while synergizing nicely with Eternal
Scourge as a sticky threat.

With Bant there was a consistency issue with needing three colors and
explicitly colorless mana. With colorless there is an issue in what
interactive spells you can fit into the deck and how limited you are in
sideboard options. The most successful variant, G/R Eldrazi, strikes a nice
balance between the two. Today’s list strikes a similar balance, playing a
single color, red, to gain access to one of the best removal spells in the
format in Lightning Bolt to pair with Dismember.

But you also get Chandra, Torch of Defiance, a very powerful threat for a
deck that can struggle going long without Eldrazi Displacer that doubles as
additional removal, and a combo that I tried to make work in Standard
several times to no avail: Hanweir Battlements and Hanweir Garrison. The
pair is a nice mana sink, an advantage generating threat, and a utility
land in a deck whose slim color requirements allow you to leverage your
lands more readily than most decks.

For acceleration, you have the always solid but never spectacular Mind
Stone alongside the explosive potential of Simian Spirit Guide. It’s
certainly not on the level of Bant, but you’re always going to sacrifice
power to gain consistency.

There aren’t a lot of gains in the sideboard, but they’re still
significant. Bonfire of the Damned is great against go wide creature decks
like Elves and Affinity, and Abrade is quickly becoming a crossover star as
a versatile removal spell. Crumble to Dust could easily go up in numbers if
your metagame has more big mana decks since it’s great with Mind Stone, and
Eldrazi Obligator is a proven player in any race-oriented matchup.

It’s the mark of a powerful core that there are plenty of options for the
surrounding shell that can compete. Eldrazi Temple and the powerful
colorless creatures are just such a proven core, and I expect we’ll
continue to see innovation around them for years to come.