Now...Reality Can Be Whatever I Want
There's a new combo deck on the block in Modern that's been turning heads. Of course, I'm referring to Tameshi Bloom, featuring Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty's newest legendary moonfolk, Tameshi, Reality Architect, and the perennial combo enabler, Lotus Bloom. This deck utilizes Tameshi to replay Lotus Bloom from the graveyard over and over, then uses the excess mana to win with a supercharged Finale of Devastation.
Tameshi, Reality Architect is the centerpiece of your deck. It lets you return artifacts and enchantments from your graveyard to the battlefield for a single white mana plus the mana value of the returned card. Of course, you also need to bounce a land to your hand, but you get to draw an extra card for your troubles. While this can let you return something cheap like a Portable Hole to interact with your opponent, it lets you spend just one mana to get back Lotus Bloom for a net positive of two mana. The ultimate result is you return all of your lands to your hand and generate a ridiculous sum of mana.
Lotus Bloom comes from a long line of Black Lotus variants with extra steps, and the more of those steps you get to avoid, the stronger it is. Lotus Bloom is not castable under normal means. Normally, You need to suspend it and wait for three turns to get access to it. This deck, however, includes a ton of ways to speed up this process, including tutoring Bloom into your graveyard with Goblin Engineer or directly into play with Wargate. Eladamri's Call and Finale of Devastation can also be used to find Goblin Engineer as well, so there's no shortage of ways to dig out Lotus Bloom.
If Tameshi and Bloom are the engine, Cultivator Colossus is the oil that keeps the whole thing running smoothly. After generating your obscene amount of mana, you get to play your big chonky plant beast, which replays all of your lands and replaces them with spells. If any of those spells are a second copy of Colossus or one of your tutor effects, you just get to do it all again.
I'm not a big fan of letting my opponent take a full turn between the time I combo off and when I deal the finishing blow. While a massive trampling Colossus may be likely to win the game in a turn, why wait? Finale of Devastation jumps up the clock by tutoring out a creature (most often Colossus), then gives your team haste and +X/+X where X is upwards of 10. While hitting for exactly lethal nets the same match points as hitting for a thousand, there's something deeply satisfying about the overkill, and oh boy, is it overkill.
What I Like
On the surface, Tameshi Bloom is similar to other graveyard-adjacent combos like the Underworld Breach and Grinding Station deck. However, that deck utilizes Emry, Lurker of the Loch to enable its combo. Unlike Emry, Tameshi doesn't need to tap, which is a huge upside. Another notable difference is that the Breach deck requires you to cast Mox Amber over and over to generate its mana. You aren't casting Lotus Bloom when you use Tameshi's ability and as a result, common combo-breakers like Chalice of the Void and Roiling Vortex don't stop you.
Tameshi Bloom has more consistency than Breach thanks to its tutor packages. They not only help find missing combo pieces, but also high-value sideboard cards like Sanctifier en-Vec, Burrenton Forge-Tender, and Meddling Mage. This sideboard strategy lets you run a wider assortment of hate pieces without meaningfully lowering your chances of finding them. It also provides room to adjust to developments in the metagame.
For decks of this nature, A-Teferi, Time Raveler is essential and Tameshi Bloom sports a full playset. You need to make sure Tameshi lives to activate his abilities multiple times at sorcery speed. Teferi puts a hard stop to counterspells and removal, giving you the freedom to combo off without the threat of interaction.
Finally, a lot of the pieces outside of the combo are flexible in this deck. Instead of Arboreal Grazer, you can use Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer or Birds of Paradise. You could cut the mana accelerants altogether for a slow and steady approach with main deck Spellskite and Giver of Runes. There are many directions to take the archetype which offers a level of customization not commonly seen in Modern.
What I Don't Like
This is a combo deck reliant on a three-mana 2/3 creature. It's susceptible to all of the most common removal spells in the format--Lightning Bolt, Fatal Push, City of Solitude, March of Otherworldly Light, a gentle breeze, the list goes on. If it's trading with your opponent, it's likely trading down on mana.
You're mostly all-in on the combo. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when compared to Grinding Breach, Tameshi Bloom only has a single way to win whereas the Breach deck has Urza's Saga and A-Dragon's Rage Channeler to fall back on.
Since you need the graveyard to initiate the combo, You run the risk of cards like Leyline of the Void, Rest in Peace, Abnormal Endurance, and Nihil Spellbomb ruining your day. You need to clear these out of the way with Boseiju, Who Endures and Otawara, Soaring City before advancing any meaningful board state. Graveyard hate cards have started to see more play to counteract Living End strategies in the current meta, so be mindful of potential splash damage.
Here is the current iteration of the deck that I'm trying out. In my flex slots, I've added Mishra's Bauble to utilize Tameshi's ability when Lotus Bloom isn't available. I'm also trying out Renegade Rallier, which acts as another way to buy back Bloom. This gives me the potential to cast a turn-four Cultivator Colossus and generate a ton of value. Thanks to the 12 fetches along with Sakura-Tribe Elder and the aforementioned Baubles, it's very likely I'll have Rallier's revolt ability active whenever I need it.
That's a wrap, folks! My hope is to put out these deck highlights on a more regular basis and showcase some of the weirder new archetypes as they emerge in Modern and Pioneer. With the revival of the Pro Tour and paper Magic returning in a big way, I'm looking forward to jumping back into the grind. I'll be painstakingly testing and scrutinizing every slot in my decks to see what works and sharing my findings with you, the reader. Keep an eye out for updates by following me on Twitter @AdamECohen. Until next time, I'll catch you later.