Underworld Breach
11, Jun, 24

Free Commander Teams Up with MH3 Flare to Take Down Huge Event!

Article at a Glance

This weekend at SCG Con Las Vegas, players had the opportunity to try out new MH3 cards in a highly competitive setting. In the Modern $5k, Nadu, Winged Wisdom surely made its presence felt. Three players in the top 16 rocked Nadu combo decks maximizing the Bird’s synergy with Shuko. A unique Eldrazi Tron decklist also made it all the way to top four, fully abusing Ugin’s Labyrinth.

While MH3 is clearly going to have a major impact on the Modern metagame for the foreseeable future, Modern isn’t the only format that’s being affected. MH3 is going to influence Arena formats like Historic and Timeless, Eternal formats such as Legacy and Vintage, and even Singleton formats like cEDH. In fact, an elite Storm deck featuring multiple new cards emerged victorious at the cEDH $8k at SCG Con Las Vegas, boasting a turn one win in the finals!

Given the flashy performance, we think this deck and the new additions deserve some recognition. Let’s start by breaking down exactly what this deck is trying to accomplish.

Main Gameplan

As you might expect from a deck that is utilizing Underworld Breach, the goal behind this strategy is to combo kill your opponents. The cards in the deck can mainly be broken down into a few different categories, all of which are essential in helping you emerge victorious.

The first subset of cards are those that can provide you with a big mana advantage. Artifacts like Mana Crypt and Mox Opal let you get a big burst right out of the gate. Meanwhile, on turns where you are trying to execute a full combo, cards like Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual can enable explosive turns.

The next group of spells are your card advantage engines. Wheel of Fortune effects work exceptionally well with all of the deck’s efficient mana producers, ensuring that you don’t run out of gas.

From there, the deck plays a high volume of combo pieces and tutors to help find them. As we will see, this deck can win the game in a multitude of different ways and having cards like Beseech the Mirror to grab whatever you need is extremely important.

Lastly, we have efficient disruption. Force of Will, Pyroblast and beyond not only improve your chances of resolving your own win conditions, but they can break up synergies from the opponents’ sides.

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Winning the Game

Underworld Breach

While these groups of cards ultimately have different functions, they all further the core objective of winning the game as soon as possible. Your mana producers make it trivial to cast your costly tutors, Wheels, and win conditions on the same turn. Your card advantage engines then find you more sources of fast mana and ways to protect your combos. There are a multitude of avenues you can take to actually win the game, so let’s go over a few of the more commons kill conditions.

Likely the simplest two-card combo to assemble is Demonic Consultation and Thassa’s Oracle. All you have to do is name a card not in your deck with Demonic Consultation to exile your whole library, then cast Thassa’s Oracle to win the game. The best way to do this is to generally cast Oracle first, and try to resolve Demonic Consultation with Oracle’s trigger on the stack. that way, you avoid your Oracle getting countered after you exile your library.

Tainted Pact accomplishes a similar task as Consultation since the deck contains no duplicate cards. Considering that cEDH is a multiplayer format, you’ll likely have to fight through multiple pieces of interaction.

The presence of Underworld Breach also enables a wide range of combo lines that allow you to close the game even if you haven’t found Thassa’s Oracle. For instance, with access to Underworld Breach, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Brain Freeze, you can generate a bunch of mana, mill your whole deck, and win by executing the following steps:

  • Cast Underworld Breach and Lion’s Eye Diamond
  • Crack Lion’s Eye Diamond, discarding your hand and making three blue mana
  • Cast Brain Freeze from your graveyard exiling three cards other than Lion’s Eye Diamond, targeting yourself with each copy
  • Use your graveyard fuel to cast and crack Lion’s Eye Diamond multiple times, casting Brain Freeze when necessary to mill more cards
  • Once you’ve milled your whole deck, cast Thassa’s Oracle from your graveyard with Breach

Grinding Station can help substitute for Brain Freeze as a self-milling machine and opens the door for other mana rocks to assist your combo efforts. You can sacrifice any zero-mana rock to Grinding Station to mill three cards, then recast the mana rock with Breach to untap Grinding Station and repeat the process.

It may not be clear to players outside of the cEDH community, but a turn one win in this format is very impressive. The stereotype around this format may suggest that these wins are easy to come by, but there is a ton of fast interaction in this format. It is much more difficult to pull this off than you may think. Orry Suen did take down the event with a turn one win.

Read More: Incredible Bird Combo Deck Spreads its Wings Early in New Modern!

New Inclusions

Flare of Duplication

While Breach Storm featuring Silas Renn, Seeker Adept and Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh as Partner Commanders has been a top tier option in cEDH for a while, the deck got some nice upgrades with the release of MH3. According to the pilot of the tournament winning deck, Flare of Duplication is an elite addition to the archetype.

Flare is yet another card that completely abuses the fact that this deck gets access to a zero-mana Commander. Rograkh’s appearance already let you maximize some busted mana producers in Culling the Weak and Infernal Plunge, as well as Deflecting Swat as a piece of disruption.

Just like Deflecting Swat, Flare can push your payoffs past opposing counterspells. On top of that, you can use Flare to copy your rituals. When you have access to a red Creature that requires no mana input to play every single game, it makes sense why Flare would shine.

Besides Flare, this decklist also showcased Necrodominance. Necrodominance may be a “fixed” version of Necropotence, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t earn a slot here. It’s still a solid card to put into play early off Dark Ritual and has very high upside. Perhaps the biggest concern is that unlike with Necropotence, if your opponents remove Necrodominance before your end step, you don’t get any card advantage out of the deal. Additionally, the fact that Necrodominance forces you to exile cards that would go to your graveyard means that it messes with your own Breach wins.

That said, Orry himself said that he never found Necrodominance throughout the tournament, so this card’s performance is still questionable.

MH3 may be a set designed for Modern, but there’s plenty of opportunity to make use of the cards elsewhere. In the context of cEDH, other cards like Shifting Woodland and Nadu, Winged Wisdom have many players excited. cEDH may not personally be my cup of tea, but it’s cool to see all the ways in which these new powerhouses get used, nonetheless.

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