Force of Negation
1, Jul, 24

Astonishing Mono-Blue Zero Land Combo Deck Is a Powerful Metacall!

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Unfortunately, for players hoping for a real underdog story at Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3, you’re out of luck. Nadu combo made up the entire top four and completely dominated the event at every turn. Its metagame percentage couple with its performance has players already clamoring for bans.

Luckily, while the Pro Tour itself didn’t showcase a great deal of innovation, that hasn’t stopped players on Magic Online from exploring all sorts of possibilities with MH3 cards. Magic Online decklists have been hard to come by since the decklist page went down, so fortunately, some players have taken to Twitter to share sweet ideas.

With this in mind, in the past few days, a super unique archetype has emerged. The deck has flown under the radar thus far with the decklists page being down. Now that multiple undefeated Magic Online league results were recently being posted on Twitter, we get to see this strange combo shell in all its beauty. This deck is too intriguing not to highlight, so let’s start by taking a look at how the combo works.

Charbelcher and Oracle Lines

Goblin Charbelcher

The main objective behind this strategy is to resolve one of two cards that make winning the game trivial. These cards are Goblin Charbelcher and Selective Memory. Both of these cards provide a very simple avenue to victory. With Goblin Charbelcher, a single activation will deal the opponent a boatload of damage. With Selective Memory, you can exile every card in your deck except for Thassa’s Oracle. This way, you are guaranteed to draw Oracle and cast it for the win.

Of course, most decks don’t get to make use of cards like these. Neither card is reliable unless you have no land cards in your library. Fortunately, this is exactly how the deck is constructed.

See, there are actually 24 “mana sources” in the deck, but all 24 are modal double-faced cards (MDFCs). In this way, you are free to play lands for your turns as you wish and play out the game like normal without messing with Goblin Charbelcher or Selective Memory.

A major inspiration for players to explore mono-blue Charbelcher in the first place was the addition of more MDFCs in MH3. Hydroelectric Specimen and Sink into Stupor make appearances here as two more blue MDFCs that can enter the battlefield as untapped lands. Having access to extra untapped mana sources is a huge deal, and casting Sink into Stupor in a pinch can help buy you time to resolve a combo piece.

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Tons of Free Spells

Force of Negation

Unlike traditional Modern Charbelcher shells, this deck doesn’t utilize Rituals to try to get ahead on mana. Outside of Lotus Bloom, there are no ramp elements to be found. Instead, this deck abuses the power of a multitude of disruptive elements that can be cast with no mana input needed.

Other than Lotus Bloom and Goblin Charbelcher, every card in this deck is blue, including the mana sources. This makes it incredibly easy to maximize pieces of interaction that require you to pitch a blue card from hand to cast for free. Obviously, Force of Negation and Subtlety can do an excellent job keeping the opponent off-balance in the early turns. However, this deck also utilizes some underappreciated free spells from MTG’s past.

Given the array of mana costs of cards in the deck, this is a perfect home for Disrupting Shoal. Pitching Beyeen Veil of Jwari Disruption can let you counter problematic two-drops, such as Ruby Medallion out of Storm. There are ample three-drops to pitch to help counter Nadu, Winged Wisdom. Pitching Subtlety can help you deal with The One Ring, which is very important. Even pitching Sea Gate Restoration will come up against cards like Murktide Regent.

The final free piece of disruption in the maindeck is Snapback. Snapback is simply used to make sure you don’t fall too far behind against creature decks, making it a nice tool against Prowess shells. What’s nice about these cards is that they can all be pitched to each other. This gives you a lot of freedom to exile cards that are weak in a given matchup to the interactive elements that are most important.

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An Intriguing Metacall

Nadu, Winged Wisdom

Since the release of MH3, the Modern format has become quite combo heavy. Bant Nadu, Ruby Storm, mono-black Necrodominance decks and beyond make up a large portion of the top echelon of decks. This puts a lot of pressure on players to either play a deck that is fast or play lots of very cheap disruption to break up opposing combos.

This is what puts mono-blue Charbelcher in a very interesting spot. Mono-blue Charbelcher is fully capable of putting together a turn-four kill but can also prevent any important combo card the opponent plays from resolving in the process. Disrupting Shoal in particular successfully messes with all three of the decks mentioned above.

This isn’t to say that mono-blue Charbelcher is fool-proof. Half of the deck’s MDFCs enter the battlefield tapped as lands, and the others require you to pay three life to have them enter untapped. This can be painful against aggressive strategies like Prowess and Boros Energy. This deck also doesn’t play many win conditions nor ways to dig for them outside of Preordain, so losing a counter war to control can be backbreaking.

With the metagame the way it is for now, though, mono-blue Charbelcher has a surprising level of appeal. Bant Nadu is still the deck to beat by a large margin, and players will surely be exploring different ways to fight it. If you’re looking for something spicy to play at your next combo-filled FNM, definitely consider giving this deck a whirl.

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