Hello, Nexites, and welcome to a new edition of Deck of the Week. The new year is upon us, which means that Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan is coming soon as well. As we gear up for the return to the first Modern Pro Tour in several years, we can expect to see pros exploring new archetypes in an attempt to break the format. MTGO will often be the place these brews make their first appearance. Today we're looking at two green-based Eldrazi decks, piloted by Gold Pro Ben Weitz and Hall of Famer Wily Edel to 5-0 League finishes. One is red-green and the other green-black, but they nonetheless share much in common.
First let's look at the decks side by side, to see where they overlap and diverge.
These two decks bear much in common with the old Bant Eldrazi decks that have largely fallen by the wayside. Eldrazi decks of all stripes generally try to pair the broken acceleration of Eldrazi Temple with some other kind of mana ramp, be it Aether Vial, the Urzatron lands, or mana dorks. Green-based Eldrazi decks like Bant have always opted for the latter, and in these new builds we see something similar. Birds of Paradise and Noble Hierarch help power out the typical package of Eldrazi monsters in Matter Reshaper, Thought-Knot Seer, and Reality Smasher. These are joined by additional heavy-hitting threats Scavenging Ooze and Endbringer, which also play the role of mana sink in the vein of Eldrazi Displacer. Out of the sideboard, both lists run additional planeswalkers—presumably for the grindy matchups—which can come out early thanks to mana dorks.
Playing green also provides access to Modern's most powerful cantrip, Ancient Stirrings. It does the same thing here as in any other deck, smoothing out draws, finding Eldrazi Temple for broken starts, and offering selection and a split creature/land that does wonders for consistency.
Up to now these decks may seem like exact ports of Bant Eldrazi (with Endbringer in lieu of Drowner of Hope as the top end), but the different colors lead to different supporting suites. Weitz opts for red for burn spells and Eldrazi Obligator, both of which can close out games quickly, and which lend the deck a much more aggressive bent. Edel's build tilts a bit more toward midrange, with Liliana of the Veil and Bearer of Silence generating value to grind into the late game.
Of course, in many ways the main difference between these lists will be in their selection of removal spell: Fatal Push or Lightning Bolt. Much like Tron variants before them, perhaps these decks are best understood as "Gx Eldrazi Aggro," into which we can splash any color for additional utility. Which of the two builds is preferable may be more a function of metagame than raw power. The sideboard further accentuates this notion, as high-impact cards like Ancient Grudge, Crumble to Dust, or Thoughtseize will be better or worse depending on your expected matchups.
We've focused more on blue decks lately at Deck of the Week, so it's a cool idea to stray away from them and see how the pros are preparing for the upcoming Pro Tour. We can probably expect new brews to come up in the coming days, but this list is one that looks pretty promising for now. Could this be the new face of our Eldrazi overlords in Modern?
So that’s it for this edition of “Deck of the Week.” Stay posted for our next feature next week. Until then, happy shuffling and thanks for reading!