omnath, locus of creation
28, Jun, 22

Meme Combo Deck Wins Competitive MTG Tournament

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Article at a Glance

This is an excellent time for combo players who love a messy road to victory. Last weekend, Set Championship finalist Simon Nielson, better known on Twitter as @MrChecklistCard, won an MTG paper Modern open with Glimpse Elementals Combo, created by Twitter user @Xenowan. The competition was fierce, with top finishes loaded up with Mythic Championship names such as Andrea Mengucci and Eli Loveman. With this finish, the Glimpse combo’s title as an MTG Modern combo meme may not be appropriate anymore.

The Deck

This isn’t the exact 75 that Nielson used to win the Modern Showcase event last weekend, but it is what he recommends in the future. Most of the cards he swapped out were in his sideboard, and in almost all cases, he swapped out nonpermanent cards for permanent equivalents that practically do the same thing. This is incredibly important since the deck’s namesake cares about permanent cards.

To summarize, the goal of the Glimpse elemental deck is to start the game by creating a bunch of permanents. This is done with cards like an Evoked Wavesifter, and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, making multiple permanents upon entering the battlefield. Once that is in place, your objective is to cast a Violent Outburst or a Shardless Agent and Cascade your way to a free Glimpse of Tomorrow. This makes you shuffle all the permanents (including lands) that you control into your library, revealing the same number of cards off the top of your library. All permanents from among them enter the battlefield.

At that point, multiple draw triggers from Omnath, Locus of Creation and Risen Reef should (hopefully) allow you to Glimpse again. Omnath triggers can kill your opponent past this point since it recognizes all the lands that Enter the Battlefield from the Glimpse of Tomorrow. Endurance also play a hand here, allowing you to shuffle used Glimpse of Tomorrow back into your deck so you can reuse them. Because many of the deck’s cards create multiple permanents, it’s common for each subsequent Glimpse in a chain to become larger.

This deck has different tiers of board that you can Glimpse. Typically, from my understanding, you do not want Glimpse boards with less than five permanents in play, as it can be hazardous. If you Glimpse a board with closer to ten permanents, you have a strong chance of winning the game on the spot.

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The Backup Plan

The brilliant part about this Elementals build is that it has a strong backup plan. Aside from the Glimpse Combo, this deck runs a lot of powerful cards. Four main deck Endurance ensures you have a game against some of the faster combo-heavy strategies that utilize the graveyard like Living End. At the same time, it does give some resistance to Mill, one of the deck’s more difficult matchups; it’s still somewhat unfavorable. Fury helps dismantle faster decks before they can start to pressure your life total. However, like Endurance, some fast decks still apply too much pressure. Fortunately, for Glimpse enthusiasts who want to up their game, this tournament had coverage recorded over at Cardmarket_Magic on Twitch. There are some fantastic games here showcasing that even the best MTG players can (maybe) make some mistakes.

With most of the deck’s creatures being Elementals, you also gain access to Cavern of Souls. This, combined with many cards that offer card advantage, gives Glimpse a better plan against decks interested in holding up counterspells. While this can sometimes make casting your Cascade cards more difficult than ideal, it’s efficient enough since Nielson won the tournament.

omnath, locus of creation

Omnath gives the deck game against most aggressive decks with a beatdown plan. While burn can sometimes get under you, as seen by the dominant Four-color Elementals deck, Omnath is capable of stabilizing from very bleak situations. Coupling as the win condition for the combo nature of this deck, Omnath is doing a ton of work in this list.

Problematic Cards

teferi, time raveler

Typically, Glimpse suffers from decks that go faster than it that Glimpse can’t interact with very well. Mill, Hammer, and Burn are examples of the deck having a more challenging time fighting. Slower decks that Glimpse can combo or mill out are things that it does better against. With Four-color Elementals being the premier Modern deck right now, this combo may allow the deck to overtop them. That being said, Teferi, Time Raveler, is highly problematic since it shuts down Cascade. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to remove with Fury if your opponent should choose to tick it down.

lavinia, azorius renegade

Another standard sideboard card in Hammer decks that shuts down cascade, Lavinia is an absolute nightmare for Glimpse. Not only does it shut down Cascade since no mana is being paid to cast the spell, but it also shuts down the Evoke abilities from Fury and Endurance. Couple this with Hushbringer, and it becomes tough to remove Lavinia before a Colossus Hammer comes flying at your face. Chalice of the Void on zero can have a similarly problematic effect and is more challenging to eliminate. While it doesn’t affect our Evoke elementals similarly, it does stop Cascading Glimpse. Fortunately, our sideboard has four copies of Foundation Breaker to take care of troublesome artifacts. Force of Vigor is another decent sideboard option, but Foundation Breaker is both an elemental and a permanent for Glimpse of Tomorrow, which may give it an edge.

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How Far Will this Go?

Glimpse Combo looks to be decently positioned in the current meta. It sports a decent matchup against many of the format’s most popular decks. It does have its bad matchups, but none of those decks seem to be tier one at the moment. If your goal is to beat up grindy midrange decks, look no further! This new MTG Modern combo deck will deliver!

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