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By: olaw, Oliver Law
Jun 12 2014 12:00pm
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Hello!

Welcome to another Becoming a Modern Man! In this article I will be looking at arguably the most exciting card to come from Journey into Nyx from a Modern perspective, Eidolon of the Great Revel. So let's start by taking a look at the card:

Eidolon of the Great Revel

For those of you, like myself, who were playing during Onslaught Block, Eidolon of the Great Revel may remind you of the card Pyrostatic Pillar:

Pyrostatic Pillar

As Scourge is outside Modern legality, this is the first time this ability has become available in Modern and interestingly it has been put on a creature.  The ability is clearly a very powerful one but requires some serious thought as far as deck building is concerned.

The Eidolon's ability is so difficult to work with because there is a dichotomy between being aggressive and quick enough to take advantage of the opponent's life loss and avoiding taking too much damage from the ability yourself.  It is primarily this tension that makes the card so difficult to evaluate and build around.  There is little doubt that the effect is very good, particularly in Modern where 3-mana is the top of the curve for most decks - this means every spell they play is going to lead to a Shock.

Anyway, let's take a look at the list we will be working with to examine the power of Eidolon of the Great Revel:

Revel Red
pacoelflaco (4-0) Modern Daily #7095592 on 05/20/2014
Creatures
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Guide
4 Grim Lavamancer
4 Mogg Fanatic
2 Vexing Devil
18 cards

Other Spells
3 Forked Bolt
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
4 Shrine of Burning Rage
23 cards
Lands
4 Arid Mesa
4 Copperline Gorge
6 Mountain
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Stomping Ground
19 cards

Eidolon of the Great Revel


I picked this version because it has some very interesting card choices that I think are worth talking about.  It also runs the full 4 Eidolons so hopefully we will be able to draw it in a good number of the games we play.  The only change I made was to add 2 Satyr Firedancer to the sideboard as that is another card I've seen being tried out in sideboards and I thought it might be another card worth experimenting with.

DECK TECH

Creatures

Eidolon of the Great Revel
Eidolon of the Great Revel
So the burning question is 'Is Eidolon any good in Modern?'  The answer is 'Yes'.  I have to say that I've been pretty impressed with the card.  Punishing players for playing spells with CMC of 3 or less is very powerful in a format where that makes up the vast majority of all spells played.  Eidolon will practically always be worth at least 2 damage to your opponent, shocking them for the removal spell they use to kill Eidolon, and more often deals considerably more damage.   That said there are certainly downsides to Eidolon.  It's not unusual to take more damage from the Eidolon's ability than your opponent.  While sometimes this is fine, we are an aggressive red deck with Burn spells after all, it can put you in a risky position if your opponent manages to stabilise. 

Eidolon also tends to be a bad draw whenever the board state favours your opponent - if they don't need to play any further spells and can win with the cards they have on board then they won't be taking pain from the Eidolon.  Meanwhile you need to play spells to get back in the game and usually can't afford to take the 2 damage from Eidolon per spell.  It's times like these when Eidolon is just a dead card stuck in your hand.  That said I think these occasions are much rarer than those where Eidolon is just a very good card.

Goblin Guide
Goblin Guide
One mana for a 2/2 haste creature is still just as awesome as it has always been.  There is a drawback but the damage Guide can deal more than makes up for it.

Mogg Fanatic
Mogg Fanatic
Mogg Fanatic is a card that I've been surprisingly happy with in this deck.  It's good at getting in early damage and is always worth an extra point of damage thanks to its ability.  Also, it's an on board deterrent to various powerful 1-toughness creatures as it can always be sacrificed when you are willing to make the trade.  Damage may no longer stack but Fanatic is still very powerful.

Vexing Devil
Vexing Devil
Vexing Devil is usually a Lava Spike for 4, which given that Lava Spike is already a very powerful card is pretty nice.

Spells

Lightning BoltRift BoltLava Spike
Lightning Bolt/Rift Bolt/Lava Spike
1 mana for 3 damage is Red Deck Wins bread and butter.  I'd suggest that the vast majority, if not all, Modern RDW decks are running a playset of these.

Searing Blaze
Searing Blaze
A common problem with Red Deck Wins is that when you have to burn a creature it means those points of damage aren't going to the face.  Searing Blaze provides the best of both worlds killing off a creature and hitting your opponent in the face all in one neat little package.  Getting the landfall trigger can be awkward at times but if you are careful with your fetches you can play around this.

Shrine of Burning Rage
Shrine of Burning Rage
Shrine is a very interesting inclusion in the deck and one that seems to be increasingly popular since the arrival of Eidolon.  It works nicely with Eidolon as, although it cost two mana, Eidolon tends to make people a little bit more wary about playing out their spells which buys you time to tick up the Shrine.  Shrine can do a ton of damage if left unchecked.  The full four copies seemed slightly excessive to me but I do like Shrine.  It also has the added advantage of being able to kill off pesky creatures with Protection from Red such as Kor Firewalker and Phyrexian Crusader if necessary.

Forked Bolt
Forked Bolt
Forked Bolt isn't a card you see all that often in Red Deck Wins, primarily because it's not designed to go to the face.  Forked Bolt is best at taking out two 1 toughness guys, such as Birds of Paradise, Dark Confidant and Grim Lavamancer, or a lone 2/2.  The deck is quite creature heavy and so Forked Bolt is designed to clear the way for your attackers.  My thoughts on this card are mixed, though it has been decent at times sometimes it's just a sorcery speed Shock to the face which is very underwhelming.

Sideboard

Destructive RevelryBlood MoonSearing BloodRelic of ProgenitusDismemberCombustSatyr Firedancer

  • Destructive Revelry is a card that is seeing increasing amounts of play in Red Deck Wins.  It's actually a point of damage worse than Smash to Smithereens and requires you to play Green, however, there is a decent amount of upside.  There aren't a ton of danger enchantments in Modern but Leyline of Sanctity is a card that is sometimes just an auto-loss for a Burn deck - having an answer to Leyline is very nice.  There are also some decent targets, such as Daybreak Coronet against GW Hexproof.
  • Blood Moon is one of the best non-basic hate cards available in Modern.  Very punishing on greedy manabases so generally a good card to have around.
  • Searing Blood comes in against any creature heavy deck - any game where Searing Blaze is particularly good then Searing Blood is usually a good card to bring in.
  • Relic of Progenitus is graveyard hate for use against the various decks that use the graveyard as a resource.  It's also good at shrinking Tarmogoyf amongst other things.
  • Dismember kills a variety of larger creatures that are more awkward to kill with burn as well as creatures with Protection from Red.
  • Combust kills Restoration Angel, Deceiver Exarch, Celestial Colonnade and Archangel of Thune to name a few good target.  The fact it's uncounterable is also very relevant in these matchups.
  • Satyr Firedancer is a card that I've tried bringing in the creature-heavy matchups.  I have to say I still haven't played enough with it to decide whether it's any good as a sideboard card.  It feels like it's probably a lot more vulnerable in a format like Modern.   Also this probably isn't the best version of RDW for Firedancer as this deck is a little more creature focused and less about going to the dome.  Jury is still out on this one.

COST
The fetchlands take this far away from being budget friendly but they could very easily be cut to make the deck cheaper.  Goblin Guides are still quite expensive but the rest of the deck is pretty reasonable.

4 x Scalding Tarn= 156.84
4 x Arid Mesa= 54.52
4 x Goblin Guide= 29.12
4 x Eidolon of the Great Revel= 12.92
4 x Grim Lavamancer= 9.88
2 x Vexing Devil= 8.28
1 x Stomping Ground= 5.75
4 x Copperline Gorge= 2.76
4 x Lava Spike= 0.60
4 x Mogg Fanatic= 0.56
3 x Forked Bolt= 0.33
4 x Lightning Bolt= 0.32
4 x Rift Bolt= 0.32
4 x Shrine of Burning Rage= 0.12
Total: 282.32 tix
Total (without fetchlands): 70.96

Sideboard

2 x Blood Moon= 38.50
1 x Dismember= 4.90
2 x Satyr Firedancer= 0.88
2 x Searing Blood= 0.38
2 x Relic of Progenitus= 0.16
1 x Combust= 0.15
4 x Destructive Revelry= 0.12
Total: 45.09 tix

GAMEPLAY


Our first matchup is against GW Hexproof.  Generally I would suggest that this matchup isn't particularly favourable, as we can't interact with their creatures and main deck Daybreak Coronet means they can gain back huge amounts of life.  However, it is a match where Eidolon of the Great Revel potentially shines, provided you can get it down early enough.  Eidolon is less good on the draw as if they've already set up their Voltron then the pain you take from your spells is only going to lose you the race.


Our second matchup is against UWR Control.  Control matchups are always a bit intimidating but I was interested to see how this would work out.  I didn't realise it at the time but I'm guessing this was Kiki Control, using the Kiki-Angel Combo, as played by Shaun McClaren at Grand Prix Minneapolis.  Game 1 didn't go too well as we kept a one land hand and never drew a second land - we fought but that kind of draw is just too difficult to win with.  Game 2 is a totally different story as we have a great aggressive start and a turn 2 Eidolon.  Eidolon deals a nice amount of damage to my opponent through its ability and also helped me get some damage past a Wall of Omens with my Mogg Fanatic.  Our Game 3 opener isn't the best but we manage to fight through a very tight game with Eidolon really shining, helping us win through a late game Leyline of Sanctity.


The third matchup I have is against Merfolk.  This is an interesting one, particularly as they can use AEther Vial to get around Eidolon damage (a tactic that could potentially be used in combination with Eidolon).  Grim Lavamancer is really good in this matchup provided you can get it going before they start going crazy with Lords.  Searing Blaze and Forked Bolt are also very good at dealing with their creatures.  (Master of the Waves) is an interesting anti-Red card for their deck but it shouldn't be too much of a problem if you can keep their creatures off the board - Shrine of Burning Rage is also a potential way to kill a Master if required.


This matchup is the first of two matches against Birthing Pod.  Pod is the top deck in the format at the moment and is an intimidating deck to play against.  The deck has a powerful toolbox of answers and has a considerable amount of life gain in the form of Kitchen Finks and even infinite life combos with Spike Feeder and Archangel of Thune.  The number of creatures in the deck also makes the more creature focused nature of our deck less favourable.  On the positive side, they have a complicated manabase which means they will be taking some amount of pain from that.  Additionally, Birthing Pod also tends to require some life to be used to activate it which means pressuring their life total can lead them to some awkward decisions.


Here is our second match against Pod which hopefully goes someway to show that our last match wasn't a complete fluke.


Our final matchup is against RG Tron.  This seems like a great matchup for an early Eidolon as all their early cantrips and search spells cause them to take pain and they have no early creatures so you are free to swing in for 2 damage each turn also.  Obviously killer Tron draws and early Karns are always going to be difficult to beat but generally this match seems to be very much in our favour.

CONCLUSION
What can I say?  I'm impressed.  Eidolon of the Great Revel gets the Becoming a Modern Man Seal of Approval (note - not actually a thing) as a very exciting new card for the deck.  I'm not sure what the right number of Eidolons is correct for the deck, it seems a lot of versions have cut to 2 copies, but I've found the card to be very powerful.  I think the results in the videos speak for themselves as I won the majority of my matches playing the deck.  I feel like there is a lot of room for tweaks and changes to the deck but definitely a fan of the Eidolon.

That's all I've got for this article!  I hope you enjoyed this look at Eidolon of the Great Revel, if you did then you may want to check out the Becoming a Modern Man back catalogue here

Thanks for reading!
Oliver Law (olaw on MTGO)