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Fighting Back Against Rally and the Eldrazi

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It feels like it has been forever since my last SCG Open, and it kind of has been. I mean, it was nearly three weekends ago! Since then the sky has fallen in Modern due to the Eldrazi invasion at the Pro Tour, and standard is still trying to rally back against Rally. But I'm here to tell you that everything will be alright. In fact, I will tell you how I plan on fighting back.


Let's start in standard and how to fight Rally the Ancestors. You must know your enemy in order to defeat them. First, the deck is a combo deck that uses Rally the Ancestors to bring back a graveyard full of creatures and either kill you with Zulaport Cutthroat, or, if they are lucky enough to have a Nantuko Husk in play they can sacrifice the creatures they got back to make that Husk kill you. The deck can also play a tempo game with the addition of Reflector Mage. While the creatures in the Rally deck aren't very big, if you can't ever get one of your threats to stick they can make short work of you. These are the two ways for Rally to beat you- either tempo you out with small creatures and bounce spells or kill you in one fell swoop with Rally the Ancestors.

So how can we stop them? Well, one thing about the printing of Reflector Mage is that it is also great against the Rally deck. You don't want their creatures in their yard to just Rally back, and you don't want them in play, so the best place for them to be is in their hand. Unfortunately, this isn't going to be enough to beat the deck on its own, but it is enough to slow them down quite a bit. We need a way to punish them now that we have slowed them down. Creatures like Mantis Rider, Thunderbreak Regent, and Dragonlord Ojutai are all great vs the Rally deck, as they can clog up the ground but are generally unable to deal with fliers. Also, having a few counterspells would be great to both save Ojutai and to stop either Collected Company or Rally the Ancestors. I'm thinking about something a bit like this:

[deck title=Jeskai Dragons]
[Creatures]
2 Soulfire Grand Master
4 Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
4 Mantis Rider
4 Thunderbreak Regent
3 Dragonlord Ojutai
4 Reflector Mage
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
2 Dispel
2 Wild Slash
3 Silumgar's Scorn
3 Draconic Roar
1 Jeskai Charm
3 Dig Through Time
[/Spells]
[Lands]
4 Flooded Strand
4 Polluted Delta
3 Mystic Monastery
3 Island
1 Plains
2 Mountain
3 Bloodstained Mire
1 Prairie Stream
1 Sunken Hollow
1 Smoldering Marsh
2 Wandering Fumarole
[/Lands]

[Sideboard]
3 Hallowed Moonlight
1 Soulfire Grandmaster
2 Radiant Flames
2 Negate
1 Chandra, Flamecaller
2 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
2 Planar Outburst
2 Disdainful Stroke
[/Sideboard]
[/deck]

I will admit that the numbers for this deck might be a bit off. The mana will need some work for sure, and the sideboard needs some testing, but I like the look of this deck. If you would like to beat Rally, this is a great starting point.

There was an error retrieving a chart for Thought Knot Seer

Next is the Eldrazi deck. This deck is a bit tougher, as the power level of this deck is insane. Once again, let's figure out what the deck does. For the most part it is a beat down deck with very powerful lands that allow it to deploy efficient threats quickly. The great thing about beat down decks is that if you survive the initial onslaught, you generally have a pretty good chance at winning the game. So, let's focus on how we plan on surviving. There are a couple ways that we can do that.

First, we can try and kill all of their creatures. This can be tough as most of their better creatures, such as Thought-Knot Seer, Reality Smasher, Drowner of Hope, and World Breaker, force you to trade two for one. Also, your deck will have to be very dense with removal spells as Thought-Knot Seer can take one of your removal spells. If you don't have a back up you might be dead right then and there. This combined with the fact that you have to find a steady flow of cards due to almost every one of their creatures being a two for one makes me not like this approach.

I have decided that I want to block the Eldrazi decks. That might sound kind of weird, because if you are just blocking them how are you going to win? With an infinite life combo. Duh. As it turns out beat down decks have a problem with depleting infinite life. One of the better decks in Modern that is both great at combat and has an infinite life combo is Melira Company. With creatures like Voice of Resurgence and Kitchen Finks you can block the Eldrazi for days, which should buy you enough time to assemble your combo. Also, the left over Voice of Resurgence token easily gets bigger than anything on the other side of the table. The right build of the Abzan Company deck is going to be hard to find, as it is a deck with a ton of options but, this is something I wouldn't mind registering if there was a tournament tomorrow:

[deck title=Melira Company]
[Creatures]
2 Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Eternal Witness
2 Fiend Hunter
4 Kitchen Finks
2 Melira, Sylvok Outcast
1 Murderous Redcap
3 Noble Hierarch
1 Wall of Roots
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Spellskite
3 Viscera Seer
3 Voice of Resurgence
[/Creatures]
[Spells]
4 Chord of Calling
4 Collected Company
[/Spells]
[Lands]
2 Forest
1 Swamp
1 Plains
3 Gavony Township
1 Godless Shrine
1 Misty Rainforest
2 Overgrown Tomb
2 Razorverge Thicket
2 Temple Garden
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Windswept Heath
[/Lands]

[Sideboard]
1 Burrenton Forge-Tender
3 Fulminator Mage
1 Kataki, War's Wage
1 Big Game Hunter
1 Orzhov Pontiff
3 Path to Exile
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Spellskite
2 Thoughtseize
1 Ethersworn Canonist
[/Sideboard]
[/Deck]

This is how I plan on fight back against the Eldrazi. I'm sure there are plenty more ways to do it and I would love to hear everyone else's ideas.

Whether you are playing Standard or Modern this weekend, good luck! I hope that I was of some help and as always thanks for reading.

Follow me on Twitter @conanhawk

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