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I've written on a variety of different topics since August, including Kaladesh standouts, brews, and Temur Delver. But each week I've brought the same exhilarating deck to my weekly locals: Colorless Eldrazi Stompy. I introduced that deck's Eyeless update three months ago and have been tuning it since. With Pascal Maynard's recent blurb renewing interest in the strategy, now seems like an ideal time to share what I've learned.
What Is Colorless Eldrazi Stompy?
Colorless Eldrazi Stompy is a disruptive aggro deck that chains lock pieces into undercosted threats. It hinges on the power of Eldrazi Temple to do the latter and counts on Serum Powder and Gemstone Caverns for fast mana consistency, bolstering the Relic of Progenitus/Eternal Scourge interaction that creams interactive decks on its own.
The Deck Core
4 Eldrazi Mimic
4 Eternal Scourge
4 Thought-Knot Seer
4 Reality Smasher
4 Endless One
Nothing too flashy going on here. As Pascal noted in his article, a big draw to Colorless is the ability to play Eldrazi Mimic, granted by the improved mana consistency of Serum Powder and Gemstone Caverns. But Pascal omitted Endless One from his build, which I think is a mistake.
Endless One is a card I was down on for most of Eldrazi Winter, but I came around with a vengeance. In this deck, the One fills a very important, if intuitive, role: it comes down whenever we need it to. One can act as a chumper for one, pressure linear opponents early for two, bait Leaks and resist Bolts for four, or present the biggest body on the block for seven. While Endless One is individually weaker than any Eldrazi at the same cost we actually pay for it, the card's ability to plug holes in our curve makes it an integral component of our aggressive game plan.
The other creature I'd like to discuss here is Eternal Scourge. Scourge has tested as well as I'd hoped when it was spoiled in Eldritch Moon, and now even has a GP win to its name. The newcomer plays two roles in this deck:
1. It ensures we have threats to cast after aggressively mulliganing into Eldrazi Temple. Whether via Serum Powder or Gemstone Caverns, Scourge often gets exiled incidentally before the game begins. With a Scourge in exile, we have fewer qualms about mulling to four in search of Temples, and are still promised a fast start if we find one rather than risk a do-nothing hand of all lands.
2. It prevents removal-heavy decks from quelling our assault. Dark Confidant, Snapcaster Mage, and Kolaghan's Command have all proven their aptitude at the grind game by now. Without Eye of Ugin, Colorless Eldrazi Stompy runs into the problem of getting out-stabilized a lot more often. But these decks aren't counting on dealing with a threat that returns after any removal spell, let alone one that actually never dies with a Relic in tow. Control and midrange decks aren't as prevalent as aggro strategies in Modern, but they still exist, and Scourge gives us a superb plan against them.
The eight noncreature, nonland cards I've included in the core are Serum Powder and Dismember, but these should be supplemented by at least four lock pieces. We have Chalice of the Void and Relic of Progenitus to chose from, and each shines in a different field. The other piece should be played in the sideboard.
Warping Wail and Spatial Contortion are powerful spells that can also be played in the main, but these cards are firmly in flex-spot territory. Personally, I prefer them in the sideboard.
4 Eldrazi Temple
3 Gemstone Caverns
4 Ghost Quarter
4 Blinkmoth Nexus
2 Sea Gate Wreckage
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
I've found the numbers on Gemstone Caverns to be just right. At three copies, we open it often enough to justify running it, but still draw multiples relatively infrequently. Drawing more than one usually means we've started the game with a copy in play, which often leads to a game state so favored that pulling a blank doesn't matter (see: Serum Powder).
The creature lands still do it for me, killing planeswalkers, blocking fliers, and adding an angle of attack by dodging sorcery-speed removal. While Blinkmoth remains a four-of for its air coverage and evasion, I'm still not sold on a playset of Mutavault. It's possible to flood on creature lands and not have the mana to activate them all, although that usually means we're in a good spot; should opponents start killing them off during combat, we can just animate the next one next turn. The main reason to move away from four Mutavault is Sea Gate Wreckage.
Wreckage has shown itself to be the best non-Temple land in the deck. We often mulligan down to four or five, start most games with fast mana, and play mana rocks, making the hellbent Library of Alexandria ultra-reliable. It's possible to exile Wreckage to Serum Powder while taking mulligans, or to simply not draw it when we run out of cards. It became so important to me to draw one Wreckage or at least have more in the deck after casting my last Eldrazi that I've moved to four copies in my current build, despite multiples generally being useless (except in the face of Tectonic Edge & friends).
Urborg and Wastes are necessary evils in this deck. With four Dismember, I like a single Urborg to lighten the load when we do draw it, but wouldn't run multiples thanks to the legend rule.
Double Wastes catches a lot of opponents off-guard and ensures we have searchable lands for Path to Exile, which is everywhere right now, and Ghost Quarter, which at least still exists. These cards can give us a hard time if we don't have a basic to search up. Ensuring the first two Paths don't go unpunished just makes life harder for our opponents. Double Wastes also decreases our softness to Blood Moon, although with a set of Serum Powder in the deck, this isn't a huge issue to begin with.
Filling the Flex Spots
With the core out of the way, we can focus on the ten funnest cards in the Colorless Eldrazi Stompy deck—the ones that fluctuate!
I'll begin with this section to stress the importance of playing 24 lands, even on Simian Spirit Guide. Two of the flex spots should go to lands.
There are many options to choose from; as mentioned above, I prefer two more copies of Sea Gate Wreckage. Mutavault shines in metagames full of linear combo. Quicksand can work against small aggro decks like Burn and Infect. Cavern of Souls trumps the counterspell matchup, although Relic/Scourge/Sea Gate should perform well enough here.
The next four slots go to permanent-based disruption. Either Chalice of the Void or Relic of Progenitus should be played as a four-of.
Chalice shines in metagames full of Infect, Burn, Delver, Grixis, and Tron. It slows these decks to a crawl, and can lock them out of the game on turn one when combined with Simian Spirit Guide. We saw the card's potency at Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch, and it's still just as good as it used to be.
One major benefit of playing mainboard Chalice is that it heavily incentivizes us to pack Simian Spirit Guide. Guide is already pretty decent in this deck, helping power out early Eldrazi and turn on Sea Gate Wreckage. With Chalice in the sideboard, it becomes less appealing to play Guide in the main, which makes Chalice worse when it gets boarded in.
Relic is my go-to lock piece in this metagame, dismantling Jund, value creature decks, and of course Dredge. I think Dredge is the best deck in the format right now, and believe it crushes most decks that don't pack specific hate for it. Whether or not that's a bad thing is a discussion for another article. For now, I like to be as prepared as possible, and that means running Relic in the main.
Another draw to mainboard Relics is the Eternal Scourge interaction, which gives us extra points against x/3 aggro decks like Zoo. Scourge can trade with attackers forever as we recur him with the Relic, which makes it harder for go-wide decks to stay wide and for big-threat decks to actually land a blow.
The final four slots can really go to anything. I tend to favor maxing out on either Matter Reshaper (alongside Relic) or Simian Spirit Guide (with Chalice). Here are some other possibilities.
Spatial Contortion: A sideboard all-star that should be at 4 between the main and the side, Contortion helps us slow down go-wide decks long enough for our Eldrazi to race.
Ratchet Bomb: A potentially mainboard answer to Ensnaring Bridge with a ton of other applications.
Spellskite: Cramps pump decks and protects our other Eldrazi from removal.
Bonesplitter: I admit I haven't tested this one yet, but it looks sweet on paper. Turns Eternal Scourge into a very dangerous recurring threat, allows us to clock seriously with a lone Blinkmoth or Eldrazi Mimic, and adds points of trample with Reality Smasher. Its low mana cost works well with Sea Gate Wreckage. Splitter wouldn't work in versions that run Chalice in the main.
My current list:
Colorless Eldrazi Stompy, by Jordan Boisvert
Matchups and Sideboard
These few months of playing Colorless Eldrazi Stompy have revealed to me the deck's biggest weakness: go-wide aggro decks. Generally speaking, the worse the deck is, the harder it is for us to beat. Affinity is actually very good post-board. Merfolk is tougher. Bant Spirits is a hard matchup. And the rogue-ier UW Spirits is our hardest, bar-none.
Go-wide aggro. UW Spirits's combination of fliers and soft disruption, combined with its lack of reliance on Vial or Hierarch, makes it very tough to beat. Our best bet is to Powder into a hand full of aggression with a couple Dismembers and try to race. This weakness explains the sideboard's nine-card removal package, which comes in against most aggro decks with a few exceptions (Gut Shot doesn't make it against Burn, for instance).
Out: Relic, Reshaper
Linear combo. These decks can also pose some issues for us, with Ad Nauseam being the primary offender. Chalice stops their cantrips and Lotus Blooms, but it doesn't affect the Phyrexian Unlife-Ad Nauseam combo at all. Relic is even more useless, and the grind game offered by Scourge and Reshaper is laughable in this matchup. Thought-Knot Seer is tremendous, though, and will win us games if we open multiples.
In: Chalice, Bomb
Out: Dismember, Reshaper
Dredge. Without Relics in the main, this matchup becomes a lot trickier. But with them, things are generally pretty good for us. Dredge has trouble beating strong starts, so our plan is to mulligan into a hand that chains a small creature (Mimic, Endless) into a big one (Thought-Knot, Endless). Multiple Smashers will often do the trick too. Dredge forces us to mulligan even more aggressively than usual in search of threat-heavy hands, which can result in some bad keeps.
Sun and Moon. The WR Prison strategies popping up lately can also hassle us, but only if their pilots draw the correct half of their deck. As mentioned, Blood Moon doesn't faze us much, especially considering we're likely to have pressure on the table when it resolves. The real killer in this matchup is Elspeth, Sun's Champion, which is close to impossible for us to remove and can nuke our board after we set up some bigger beaters. Our plan is to get under them with Mimics and disrupt with Thought-Knot.
In: Bomb, Needle
I stand by my claim that most of Colorless Eldrazi Stompy's matchups fall into this third category. We're faster than Bant and Tron, can out-grind Jund, Grixis, Jeskai, and Abzan, and disrupt Burn, Affinity, and Infect too well post-board to have to worry about the aggro trinity.
Sideboarding for these decks is pretty straightforward following the blueprint laid out above.
A Bright (Gray) Future
Playing Colorless Eldrazi Stompy is the most fun I've had playing Magic in a while. Unlike Temur Delver, which asks a lot of me over the course of a few matches, this deck is very straightforward and easy to play. Its only challenging aspect is in mulliganing, one of my favorite things to do in Magic anyway! That makes it the perfect deck for me to bring to smaller events without too much on the line. Still, I can't help but wonder if the nagging voices in the back of my head will ever convince me to register the 75 at a higher-stakes tournament.
23 thoughts on “Crunch Time: Three Months Later with Colorless Eldrazi Stompy”
I’ve been looking to this revisitation ever since I saw the Relic + Scourge package feature prominently in the GP-winning Skred list. Fun stuff. Do you think grindy decks are covered by the aforementioned package? Or do you find yourself hankering for the space to jam something like Endbringer?
I cut the two Endbringers in my sideboard a week and a half ago for this very reason and haven’t missed them. I think the move to four Sea Gate compliments the Relic/Scourge package well enough that grindy decks are covered without any six-drops. Maxing out on Spatial instead helps a lot against the creature decks that can give us trouble.
Jordan, I still don’t get your thing with Serum Powder. You could probably improve on Powder’s ability to get you what you need by using Ancient stirrings. And if you’re adding green for that, you could you could maximize explosive / aggressive starts by swapping in Noble Heirarch for the Mimic since you don’t have many hard hitting 3 drops to follow up the Mimic anyway. And since Heirarch can make white, Path is better than Dismember. Eldrazi Displacer and Drowner can go wide in a long game and overwhelm grindy decks even better than Scourge and Relic recursion. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.
Bant Eldrazi is a different deck though. It doesn’t have access to mainboard Chalice, allows its mana to be disrupted by Lightning Bolt/Gut Shot, and is less efficient about finding its Temples. There’s a reason Colorless Eldrazi Stompy has a great Bant Eldrazi matchup.
Relic+Scourge is good, but I remain dubious. Additionally, you said you have enough disruption to deal with infect game 2, which is true, most of it is damage based. As an infect player, while this does slow me down, I will side in wild defiance and you would have a hard time beating that. Additionally, siding in enough removal to get through infect (You need 2 to kill probably) leaves you with a less aggressive deck and more time for infect to simply play back, and drop a creature with blossoming defense and groundswell+fetch up, or wild defiance, which you basically cant beat. Since Game 1 against infect is pretty terrible, I feel like that matchup is not as good as you think it is. Sorry for only having input on the infect matchup but its the only one I have actual knowledge on. (Slightly skewed from playing a GB version)
Chalice on 1 is a beating vs. Infect.
The lock piece chosen for the main depends on metagame and preference. I’ve been running Chalices for the last couple of weeks and have loved them, but before then I had been on Relic and not missing Chalice so much. I think either can work depending on the context.
GB Infect is a Tier 3 deck and not one I do any testing against. I also can’t remember the last time I saw Wild Defiance out of Infect. That doesn’t mean they can’t run it, but they don’t usually. Removal like Ratchet Bomb and Dismember also gets around Defiance.
I’ll add that I’m not just theorizing here, but have put in a lot of games against Infect and feel the matchup is very good based on those.
After your first post about this build, I put it together and played it a bunch (2x/week in a competitive FNM scene plus loads on cockatrice) before moving on. I may not have mulled as aggressively as recommended–I certainly wasn’t regularly going to 4 or 5–which in turn may affect some of my experiences.
I ended up cutting Powder all together for 4x Reshapers. Other than in the case of Blood Moon, Powder was a dead card the vast majority of the time when in hand. There’s no doubt that Serum Powder strengthens the mull-early-and-often angle, though. If I were to run it again I’d be unlikely to go above three, I think, because it really is so bad as a spell–and this in a deck with almost no way to dig or filter draws (I mained Chalice, not Relic).
Wreckage helps some, but the hellbent clause really limits its utility. Anyone playing Wreckage knows the pain of drawing consecutive lands with it, which shuts it down for a turn every time it happens. Also the manlands’ mana needs are in tension with its not-inconsiderable activation cost.
Endless One was amazing, fitting any point in the curve was absolutely huge and meant I felt guaranteed to have something productive to do at just about any stage of the game. Mimic was also amazing and, if not removed, was an early game threat that pushed through major damage many, many times.
Scourge was a mixed bag, though it is much better when Relics are active. Scourge’s utility with Caverns was the envy of my opponents, and cast a T1 Scourge into T2 Seer/swing for 3 into T3 Smasher/swing for 12 a bunch of times. However Scourge exiles to Path and Bolt even with Chalice active, and recasting it really only feels good if you don’t have something else to do with that mana, like say activate the manlands or Wreckage. As a blocker it is pretty bad, absent Relic.
Obviously both Seer and Smasher are total all-stars, and landing a T1 Seer was something I managed a handful of times to my great satisfaction.
The manlands–Nexus in particular–were outstanding at closing out the last few points of damage to end a game. I ran three Wastes, since I decided to cut Urborg. Having literally no other damage out of my own deck, plus lots of Ghost Quarters and Paths being thrown my way, made this felt like the right call to me.
I wholly agree with the good/bad matchups analysis. though I would call Merfolk “awful” instead of “bad;” If they land an Aether Vial, or a Cavern of Souls, our Chalices are near useless, and Relic does not fill that void in such a case. Additionally, any match that doesn’t rely strongly on T2+ 1-drops is also pretty bad; for instance Kiki builds, Coco builds, D&T, etc. Lantern was pretty easy if I could keep my opponent off Bridge with Seer or Ratchet Bomb.
Thanks for the thoughtful comment.
Powder: I would advise mulliganing very aggressively with this deck. In the dark on the play, 7 cards with no Temple is a ship. Six cards with no temple and no turn one Chalice is a ship. Five cards with no Temple, no turn one Chalice, or no Dismember is a ship. Since I’m regularly going to 4 or 5 with this deck to find my Temples, I think Powder is invaluable. You could build this deck to be slower and more consistent without the Powders, but I don’t think the solution there is to simply sub in Reshapers. If you want to go that route, I’d play Expedition Maps and add Tron lands. The main reason to play this build of Eldrazi Stompy is to maximize your early starts, and Powder helps a lot with that. The interaction with Eternal Scourge, a card that covers similar ground as Reshaper by posing problems for removal-heavy decks, brings the card from interesting to integral.
Wreckage: That’s true. Flooding on lands with Wreckage makes me wish I still had Lilianas in this deck. When I’m on mainboard Chalice and Guides (as I am right now), I like to cut the 24th land (a 4th Wreckage) for a Reshaper or something, but still don’t feel comfortable going much lower on the land count since opening a lot of them is very important when we mull/Powder down to 4 or 5 and need to make sure we cast our exiled Scourges on time. Wreckage really just gives us something extra to do with excess mana, as the manlands do. But I like having a split between attacking with that mana (manlands) and drawing cards (Wreckage) since it just gives us more options. There are lots of situations that come up where we have extra mana but would rather draw than poke.
Endless One and Mimic: Agree and agree. I think Endless is actually the best creature in the deck. I even play him as a 2/2 a good portion of the time, like when I have a Temple and Scourge and TKS in hand and no Mimic. Obviously, ripping him off the top is great. And in the late-game we can play him for 4 or something and continue to draw with Sea Gate. I board out Mimic against Bolt decks to give them zero good targets for the spell, but think it’s too important against linear combo to ever be cut from this deck.
Scourge: Terrible blocker against 3/3s. Scourge’s uses are making removal look terrible (we love sitting back on a grip of great creatures against reactive decks like Grixis Control as we poke with Scourge and force their hand) and giving us some extra manpower after we mull/Powder into a Temple.
Wastes over Urborg: This seems fine. Depends how many Paths and Quarters you see in your metagame.
To echo others here, and my own experiences with the deck, serum powder has continued to just power down the whole thing. Its inclusion is “cute” rather than competitive, and along with lock pieces, you very much run the risk of drawing the do-nothing parts of your deck when realistically you want to hit threat-after-threat and overwhelm an opponent in short order, following some early disruption or lockpiece.
Cards like chalice are there to do 2 things:
1) buy you time and/or stunt your opponent’s growth to establish a board advantage. If you get to the point where you can no longer attack into an opponent’s creatures, you probably aren’t winning
2) hamstring certain key cards so that you can attack more freely, without the worry of a powerful backswing or a combat trick (e.g. Might of old krosa, lightning bolt, path to exile)
I’d appreciate you spending a moment to explain how relic of progenitus does these 2 things. It’s a great card to be sure, but i don’t see how it plays into the “stompy” style, instead looking (to me at least) like a niche pre-board card such as Tron used to play. It helps in a couple of matchups (dredge, right?) but doesn’t aggressively lock anything down?
Just to expand, Blood Moon is another good example of this kind of effect, although obviously doesn’t fit here.
For the sake of a discussion; let’s say you were to straight-swap serum powder for simian spirit guide, and relics for chalices. How would your game 1 matchups change? As far as I can see, the big premier aggro decks in modern would all get easier, along with 1-drop-reliant decks like delver, Jund and so forth. It also fixes your UW spirits matchup rather nicely by bringing speed and shutting off their utility 1-drops as early as turn 1.
Critically, the bad matchups wouldn’t get any worse, per se. dredge gets worse in game 1, but that’s the only one. Seeing as the deck’s so easy to hate out from the board (and is possibly stompy’s defacto worst tiered matchup) I would be fine taking this risk and having an aggressive sideboard for dredge.
Surely these options sound reasonable. I play the deck regularly, have given serum powder enough chances to shine, but it just de-powers the deck too much with mushy-midgame-stalling and it costs too many wins for me to condone it as a solid choice.
Would just like to add though, that I love these articles and I really appreciate you holding the torch for this particular deck 🙂 (even if you have a weird obsession with serum powder haha)
Keep on trucking. Can’t wait for your next eldrazi story.
I’m actually on Chalice + Guide right now and think it’s correct to run that combination as Dredge continues to lose footing in the metagame. Relic is less of a lock piece and more a very efficient, self-replacing disruptive permanent. But it’s important to remember that combined with Scourge, it can make combat nightmarish for opponents, which is more desirable than Chalice against certain decks (CoCo/Chord, Zoo, Little Kid Abzan, etc.). That’s in addition to butchering Grixis/Jund/Jeskai/Abzan midrange decks and hosing certain strategies (Goryo’s, Dredge) on its own.
I have been running colorless eldrazi ever since the ban of eye of ugin, and I found it not as bad as most people thought it is. Most people thinks the deck is slower and would always tell me to play the bant version, in which they think is better, but I told them that it is quite reliant on turn 1 noble hierarch to get you going most of the time and although it strengths lies in the mid to late game with their value creatures, it can sometimes fall prey pretty hard to bloodmoon and a bolt early.
Another thing to note, instead of running bone splitters, run ghostfire blade. A much better option since all our creatures are colorless anyway. Ghostfire blade won me quite a lot of games as I could attach it to an underpowered mimc in the mid/late game or just give to reality smasher to beat through against a stalemate of gofy on the opposing board.
I love matter reshaper and I rarely board it out except maybe for matches like infect where it doesn’t matter that much and having more removals for their creatures is much more important. And I would have to say I am quite impress with it most of the time as the only good way is to remove it is to exile it without having any drawback like path to exile.
I am on the fence on eternal scourge though, it is a value creature but I think that matter reshaper just does the job better most of the time unless the game got into a super drawn out match. It is great to be able to replay it but modern is so fast that it doesn’t really matter most of the time and being able to generate immediate value is sometimes much more efficient.
P.S. I was featured in a game for a PPTQ, and you can see my deck in action. The list I am running then was almost the same as the list I am running now with minor sideboard changes against the current meta.
Thanks for the detailed comment. You clearly have been playing with the deck a lot, as you’ve thought about a lot of the same stuff that popped up for me.
Ghostfire: Yep, this is definitely better than Bonesplitter. My oversight there. Glad you’ve had success with it. I’m playing a single Matter Reshaper over the 4th Sea Gate right now. Important to note that I’m also currently on Chalice + Guide, a package which makes Ghostfire less attractive. But it looks great with Relics in the main.
Reshaper: Still a great card but our worst threat, as it’s our most conditional. Our other threats all offer something of value in every matchup, whereas Reshaper only works when opponents interact with us (either with removal or through combat).
Scourge: I think this card is better than Reshaper against decks full of Bolts/Paths/Terminates, and worse against decks full of Nacatls/Finks/Thragtusk. Its interaction with Gemstone Caverns and Powder, as well as the fact that the Bolt deck holds a larger metagame share, makes me inclined to believe it’s better in this slot if we have to choose between the two.
I think the big draw of Colorless over Bant is absolutely Chalice of the Void+SSG.
You are half right. Relic is VERY good against attrition based decks like Grixis,Jund and Jeskai. The big problem is that Relic is no lights out agaisnt Dredge unfortunately. Dredge is a messed up deck that i prefer to combat with a potent hoser like Leyline/Urborg or Ravenous Trap.
The percentage points you win by playing Chalice on turn 1 are much higher that Relic. My biggest fear is not dying to midrange or control which are underrepresented anyways. Chalice destroys Burn and Infect. It hoses blue decks that are based around Path/Bolt/Serum and Ancestral Vision(s). Ultimately, this deck has no “virtual” Eldrazi Temple like Bant in the form of mana dorks. So why not mainboard a lock piece to buy you some time and make mulligans less stressful?.
TL;DR, if i was taking this deck tomorrow to an event, it would be because of Chalice and Monkey nothing else.
PS: Serum Powder plus Scourge might be ok though. You get a lot of bash for Powder however it might be the correct line to make the deck a little more consistant than trying to draw a 4-of or bust.
Relic on its own isn’t lights out against Dredge, but playing 4 of them AND backing them up with fast, aggressive starts makes the matchup very good. Chalice + Guide is definitely viable in this metagame and is looking to be the optimal configuration now that Dredge is on the decline (as it has been for the last two weeks).
Thank you Jordan, I’ve been playing this deck for the last few weeks at least and it’s been feeling very solid. I came to your same conclusion regarding the endless one but I just swapped the mimic for them, this looks much more ideal in terms of increasing its consistency. I very much look forward to applying your changes to my list.
I really like Mimic against removal-light linear decks. It allows us to pressure them very efficiently. How are you beating decks like RG Breach and Ad Nauseam without Mimic?
Hey Jordan, I’ve really enjoyed perusing your brews.
I know Bonesplitter is just a fringe card you’re considering, but wouldn’t Ghostfire Blade be an upgrade for the purposes of this deck in particular?
That’s just me being bad. Ghostfire Blade is definitely better than Bonesplitter here.
I put this deck together, but run the Chalice + Monkey package. In addition, I run 1 Sword of Fire and 2 Ratchet Bombs mb(2 sb), purely for the extra spice. I’ve also cut down to 1 Sea Gate, and upped Mutavault to 3, and added in a Cavern of Souls. Lastly, I run Crucible, All is Dust, Warping Wails, and the Progenitus package in the sideboard.
I’ve been play-testing extensively with this build for the past couple of weeks, and have been extremely impressed with the results. This deck feels incredibly powerful in the current meta. At least my local meta. I haven’t kept track of every win/loss, but I’d peg it to be somewhere around 70% win rate. The Ratchet Bombs have been all-stars across the board, and I’d argue that they have a place mb. I’ve won through decks running Bridges and tons of hate. This deck really does live or die based on the explosiveness of our starts though. Unfortunately, that’s the weakest part of the deck, but not a reason to bring in Serum Powder, as Powder just plays poorly. This deck is quite capable of hitting t1 Thought-knot, which is ridiculous. It’s been a long time since I’ve had this much fun playing big dumb critters.
Bomb can work in the main if you can find space. Cutting Powders will definitely free up some slots, but I don’t feel comfortable axing them. Since Eternal Scourge’s introduction to this deck, I have really been loving the Powders. Like you said, the deck lives and dies based on its openers.