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Insider: More Modern Hits in Eldritch Moon

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Covering SCG Dallas this weekend was a blast. Partly because Fort Worth is a great city, and partly because I got to watch Kevin Jones crush with Grixis Delver, a deck that I have put a ton of time into and feel is underplayed in Modern. Currently, Snapcaster Mage is my pick for the most powerful card in Modern, and Grixis Delver does a tremendous job of playing to the card's strengths. Unsurprisingly, the most represented deck in the Top 8, Jeskai Nahiri, is also a Snapcaster deck.


I've stated previously that the drop in Snapcaster's price was somewhat baffling to me, and with blue being so well positioned and Modern PPTQ season rolling in I would expect some growth in Snapcater in the coming months. Probably not enough growth to be profitable buying at market price and selling at buylist, but enough to prioritize buying the card if you don't own it and want to play an interactive blue deck.

Natural Order 2.0

Of course, Snapcaster is well-positioned now, and this piece is about upcoming change. The format hasn't especially adapted to the introduction of Nahiri decks just yet, and I assume that one of the spoiled cards from Eldritch Moon is about to shake things up in a significant way.

eldritchevolution

I've never been one to cast a Natural Order, and this card doesn't have quite the punch that NO does, but at three mana it seems pretty absurd. When you consider that Green Sun's Zenith and Birthing Pod are banned in Modern, Eldritch Evolution seems to be made of a lot of the same stuff.

Collected Company is more than good enough for Modern play, and Eldritch Evolution gives the caster a lot more control over the outcome. I had to reread the card a couple times, because both allowing you to search for non-green creatures and creatures with casting cost less than X are surprising.

There is no shortage of combinations of creatures that end the game in Modern, and both the flexibility and efficiency of Eldritch Evolution are too high to be ignored. Technically you lose a mana overall and two-for-one yourself when you cast it, though when you consider the possibilities the include is worth the downside.

There are so many options. Turn one Birds of Paradise, turn two sac if to find Magus of the Moon. Sacrifice literally any creature in Kiki Chord for literally any other creature. Eternal Witness into Reveillark. Kitchen Finks into Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. We're only scratching the surface here.

In light of this card and the current power of Snapcaster Mage, a card that I really like right now is Voice of Resurgence. I can't imagine trying to build an Eldritch Evolution deck and not including a bunch of Voices. It's hard to make Voice bad in Modern, and we're certainly heading in a positive direction for Voice. Voice spiked to over $30 recently and is currently slightly sub-$30---I can definitely see it pushing $40 when the right shell for Eldritch Evolution is found.


Another interesting card to watch for is a bit more obscure, but bear with me. An Eldritch Evolution deck is going to want five-drops, and it's likely to feature multiple avenues to combo. As such, Protean Hulk is a card that could start showing up more commonly in Modern.

The card jumped from about a dollar to about four over the course of the past year due to an obscure Footsteps of the Goryo deck, and if it ends up being a fixture of the Eldritch Evolution deck it could see further growth. It would likely be a one-of in such a deck, though if the deck is as good as many are anticipating and its in the best version, then that will be enough. The spread on Protean Hulk is already very small relative to its price, and as such I like it as a spec.


Another more odd pick that I think is worth considering is the aforementioned Magus of the Moon. I mentioned earlier that you can use a turn one mana dork to tutor for a turn two Magus with Eldritch Evolution, and as such I think you get a lot of value out of having one copy of Magus in your deck.

Magus of the Moon already has significant demand for several more odd-ball strategies in both Modern and Legacy, and if it starts showing up in more serious decks I could see it making some significant gains given that it has only the Future Sight printing.


The last card that I'd like to discuss for the Eldritch Evolution deck also comes from Time Spiral block, though it's one that is easily more obscure. If the deck name Project X means anything to you, then you know that I'm talking about Saffi Eriksdotter.

Saffi was once used in Standard to combo with Crypt Champion, and while I don't know if Crypt Champion will make the cut in Modern, Saffi does still have some applications with Eldritch Evolution. Given that a number of the creature combos involve potentially sacrificing one of your combo creatures, such as sacrificing Deceiver Exarch to find Kiki-Jiki, Saffi allows you to end up with both.

This one is definitely more on the speculative side, and I certainly wouldn't expect decks to feature four Saffi, though Saffi still seems like a decent enough gamble.


Donate 2.0

There are definitely other options to explore with Eldritch Evolution, and I'm excited to see how things shake out. The other card that I'd like to discuss today is a little more straightforward.

harmlessoffering

Illusions of Grandeur once teamed up with Donate to be one of the most maligned combos of all time. It's a different era, but when something that was dominant at a different stage in Magic history becomes available in Modern, it's wise to at least try it out. Interestingly enough, while Donate has never been Modern legal itself and is in fact on the Reserved List, there is something similar in Modern to help make a potential Harmless Offering deck more consistent.


Full disclosure, I don't think that a Modern Donate deck sounds super real, but it is the sort of fringe thing that certain players will be very excited to play, and definitely has the potential to just get you. Bazaar Trader is dirt cheap right now, and Worldwake packs are... not. Foils are right around $2, and I like that play a good amount. The card fits into Zedruu Commander decks as well, which is a non-zero amount of demand.

Of course, we need something to donate...

Of these options, Immortal Coil is the most viable as it very quickly just kills the opponent, and with Relic of Progenitus being pretty maindeckable that's where I'd look. Immortal Coils are also dirt cheap, and foils are also just worth nothing. I don't expect the deck to be especially competitive, but the concept is super cool and these are interesting penny stocks.

~

If it wasn't clear enough, the consensus is that Eldritch Evolution will hit in Modern, while Harmless Offering is more of a fringe/cool card. Eldritch Moon is shaping up to be an awesome set, and while I'm still not sure exactly what I want to do in Standard, there are some clear winners for Modern already.

Thanks for reading.

-Ryan Overturf
@RyanOverdrive on Twitter

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