Welcome back to another issue of The Modern World! This week I will be talking about Eldrazi. What is it? What is the best way to beat it? Continue reading to find out.
Just last winter we survived what is commonly known as Eldrazi Winter. I won’t speak too much about it but good riddance to Ugin’s good eye.
However as we have been learning that ban did not make the deck run into hiding. What did it do? It adapted and changed into more of a fair midrange deck that has 3 colors and a ton of answers. Let’s get right to a recent deck list and see what it’s all about.
These are the cards that in a sense replaced Eye of Ugin. In fact the hands without these mana accelerants make the deck a lot more clunky. They also help smooth out your mana because essentially you are four colors with colorless added to the Bant shard.
These are the meat of the deck. Each Eldrazi has their place and can still come out fast enough to be quite disruptive and threatening. I think the best thing about each of these Eldrazi is that even if you play them normally and for their actual mana cost they are still strong creatures. The 3 drops are more like 2 drops in this deck and all valuable.
Eldrazi Skyspawner may be the most unimpressive but having that flying body is very important in Modern with things like Inkmoth Nexus running around and threatening to kill you instantly if left unblocked. The scion that skyspawner brings with it can also help you cast your other Eldrazi a turn earlier. Matter Reshaper is just a value card. They kill it you replace it, you block with it you replace it, and so on.
Eldrazi Displacer serves multiple purposes in this deck. It is a way to remove opposing blockers, blink some of your come into play creatures like Thought-Know or Skyspawner, or even save your guys from removal.
Thought-Knot Seer is great to take out key removal spells or key pieces of your opponents deck. He passes the Lightning Bolt test and is also an efficient beater.
Reality Smasher is a difficult to handle threat that can attack past most creatures in the format.
Drowner of Hope This guy helps you get your attackers through multiple chump blockers and is a 5/5 as well.
Another colorless creature that serves multiple purposes within the deck. We all know how good Spellskite is and I have covered the card in precious articles. In this deck it just gives you a main deck answer to help you beat decks that would normally give you trouble like Infect or Death's Shadow aggro.
The only spells the deck usually runs in the main deck and sometimes it can be just Ancient Stirrings and Path to Exile.
Path is a given in most decks that have access to white mana. It is a cheap and efficient removal spell that hits pretty much every creature in Modern.
As for Stirrings if you thought it was good in a Tron type deck it really shines in this deck. Look at the list almost every card is colorless. You are paying 1 green mana to look at the top 5 cards and choose which one you want to draw most times.
Engineered Explosives serves almost like a 1 sided wrath in most games. For decks like Infect, Death's Shadow, or Burn most of their threats are 1 drops. So it is easy to set an Explosives for 1 and feel great about activating it. It also can be set for 2 most games because your only 2 drop is Spellskite.
Usually I don’t cover mana bases with these decks but this deck has some special lands that help the deck to function smoothly.
Eldrazi Temple is obvious. This deck want the 2 mana land to help them accelerate and make the deck seem less fair.
Cavern of Souls is often taken for granted but without it this deck is so soft to counters like Mana Leak and Remand. It also takes a mode away from Cryptic Command and makes control have that much harder of a time against you.
The rest of the mana has the Painlands Brushland and Yavimaya Coast and the Ravnica duals and also Fetches. The painlands serve as tri lands giving you the colors you need as well as the colorless mana. The deck can be greedy as far as what it needs but this mana base is actually pretty stable.
Another draw to this deck is the available sideboard options. Because it has access to blue, green, and white it has powerful cards that can greatly improve your matchups against other decks.
Basically the best white sideboard cards that are available. Being able to hose both Affinity and decks like Dredge can really make it easier for you to actually beat them. Especially if paired up with your large Eldrazi coming out quickly.
The other colors give you access to cheap answers as well. Green gives you (Nature’s Claim). 1 mana kill any artifact or enchantment. The downside is your opponent gains 4 life but when your creatures are 4/4 or 5/5s it doesn’t matter all that much. Stubborn Denial has been seeing some play because most times it is a 1 mana Negate though at times Force Spike is just good enough.
The other cards you can mix and match depending on the meta but you see this list has extra graveyard hate in the form of Grafdigger's Cage. I believe this is also due to the increased sightings of Collected Company decks and it is also cheap and can be “searched” up with Ancient Stirrings. Worship is a card that is great against the mirror or against any other hyper aggro deck. The downside is you need to live long enough to cast it. However with the mana creatures you should be able to get it down in time.
If you like what you see and want to play the best advice I have is to find coverage and watch it. There are a ton of good players like Brian Braun-Duin and Pascal Maynard that have been playing this deck. Their decisions and videos are very helpful. Once again a deck like this needs practice. You want to know which hands to keep and how to sequence your turns etc.
However if you saw all of this and Eldrazi still leaves a bitter taste in your mouth then how can you beat it? As far as I can tell there aren’t really any bad match ups. The way the deck is built gives it a decent chance against most other decks and the sideboard help that number improve. There is a reason it is played so much. So I wouldn’t suggest a specific deck to try and beat it.
This deck has multiple things you attack though. One is their lands. They have a greedy mana base and if you can keep them off of a color or all of their colors you can have a very high chance of success. What is one way to do that?
Of course you have to make sure your deck can support the powerful card but if you can this can really cripple your Eldrazi opponent and it is not a bad slot in your board because of how many other decks it hurts.
Also since this is a creature deck the anti-creature cards are always good. I really think Ghostly Prison is in a great place right now. It shines against anyone trying to beat you down and keep their land count down. If they can only attack you with one creature per turn and you have an answer for that creature then you are looking pretty good. Supreme Verdict is another one that beats this deck. Even if they side in their counterspells you still get around them with this powerful board wipe.
Ensnaring Bridge is another card that really shined against this deck back when it was “unfair” but still can be a good option now. You just have to realize that Eldrazi can work around hate cards with their disruption and removal so you really want to play the match carefully and know when to deploy your hate.
I hope you enjoyed this look at Bant Eldrazi. Next week I will be back with Tron. It has been having some success lately so it is a good time to look closer at the deck. Thanks for reading and until next time!!