Video Daily Digest: Who Needs Backup Plans?

Counters Company had its time in the Modern sun, but its aggro backup plan often fell flat. So what happens when you go all-in on the combo instead? Ross Merriam has the answer!

When Vizier of Remedies was printed, it didn’t take long for the hive mind to discover its interaction with Devoted Druid and start building around an easy arbitrarily large mana combo.

The easy deck to slot the combo into was Abzan Company and those decks were quite popular at the time, but they quickly faded from prominence within the metagame.

That fall came from the fact that the backup aggro plan, a bread and butter part of creature combo decks, is significantly weakened when you add a two-mana 0/2 and a two-mana 2/1 to your deck.

If that plan isn’t going to work consistently, then you might as well go all-in as a combo deck.

When you commit that hard you have to make tough decisions, and in this case that decision is moving away from Collected Company. Collected Company is a great value card, but it’s not a tutor, and when you’re trying to combo, you want the increased selection.

Until recently, the only true tutor option was Chord of Calling, but now we have Eldritch Evolution as well, so you can build a deck that is incredibly consistent at comboing by Turn 4.

Most of this deck is devoted to mana acceleration and redundant combo pieces, but you can’t completely ignore other avenues to victory. But instead of a value card like Kitchen Finks, a tutor-heavy list wants silver bullets like Magus of the Moon and Whisperwood Elemental.

Eternal Witness and Renegade Rallier May seem like value cards, but here they’re essentially more tutors for when your first copy of a combo piece dies. There may be games when you draw enough two-for-ones to grind them out, but mostly you’re just putting them to the test until they fail.

Most people think of combo decks spending the early turns setting up to deftly navigate around disruption, but sometimes plowing straight through and never giving the opponent a turn to rest is the best plan.

Magic isn’t about being the trickiest or doing something unexpected. It’s about winning. And if running headfirst into disruption until they die is the best way to win, then so be it.