Through the Breach | Ultimate Masters | Art by Randy Vargas
19, Jun, 24

New Deck Packed With MH3 Cards Takes Tournament Top Spot!

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Well, we all knew it was coming. With Eldrazi being such a huge part of Modern Horizons 3, it was only a matter of time before a deck built around them broke into the Modern format. In an MTG Modern Preliminary just yesterday, Selesneal’s RG Eldrazi list did just that. The deck took first place in the tournament, with an overall 3-1 record.

Not only does this mark the return of a beloved (and beloathed) archetype, it also serves as a stellar showcase for the new cards MH3 brings to the table. No less than seven new cards feature here, accounting for 10 of the maindeck cards and 6 in the sideboard. As Magic’s spaghetti titans take their first slithering steps into the new Modern, we thought we’d stop and analyze their trails. What makes the new Eldrazi tick? Read on to find out.

A New RG Eldrazi MTG Brew

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn | Rise of the Eldrazi | Art by Mark Tedin

RG Eldrazi is, essentially, a brand-new MTG archetype, spurred on by the new cards introduced in Modern Horizons 3. We’ve seen plenty of Modern Eldrazi decks before, of course, but none that play quite like this. The deck leverages fast mana from Eldrazi Temple et al to power out chunky Eldrazi early. Very early, if it can get them out via Through the Breach.

In that sense, RG Eldrazi plays a bit like a cross between a Ramp deck and a Combo deck. It can absolutely play a fair game and cast its threats for real mana. It can also drop an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn with Through the Breach and end the game on turn three. The deck has options, basically.

To filter through those options, RG Eldrazi also includes some classic card advantage in Ancient Stirrings and The One Ring. The former smooths out your early draws, while the latter pushes you through to a win, while also serving as an excellent outlet for all the early colorless mana the deck can produce.

Aside from these, the deck plays a package of beefy Eldrazi as its core threats. We’ve covered Emrakul, but it also runs the full playset of Thought-Knot Seer, a survivor of the first Eldrazi Winter. This helps to disrupt opponents early, before really twisting the knife in with an All is Dust later on. In the absence of a real Eldrazi, this is the next-best thing.

Main Deck Additions

But you’ve seen all of that before. What’s really exciting about Selesneal’s RG Eldrazi deck is the sheer volume of brand new MTG cards they’ve managed to cram in there. First and foremost among these: Ugin’s Labyrinth. Alongside Eldrazi Temple, this gives the deck access to eight total ‘Sol Lands,’ or lands that tap for two colorless mana. This kind of early acceleration can be incredibly dangerous, especially when the majority of the deck requires only colorless mana to function.

Of course, Labyrinth does have a downside. You need to exile a pricey colorless card from your hand in order to use it in the first place. Emrakul and All is Dust are valid pitches here, but so is Devourer of Destiny, another incredibly important piece from MH3. Normally, keeping a big creature like this in your opener would hurt your chances of winning. Devourer has a ‘start of game’ effect, however, which lets your filter your draws for free if you do keep it in the mulligan. It can also pitch to Labyrinth early, and even be a reasonable threat in its own right later on. An all-round banger, basically.

Rounding out the new cards in the main deck, we have the most fearsome of the new Eldrazi Titans: Ulamog, the Defiler. While it costs a whopping 10 mana, no small feat even for a deck like this, attacking with it even once should end the game immediately. If you need some extra help casting it, Kozilek’s Command has your back. As with all Commands it’s an incredibly flexible card, but the mode that creates Eldrazi Spawn tokens is particularly useful here. Of course, exiling creatures and drawing cards ain’t too shabby either.

Sauce On The Side

RG Eldrazi MTG Sideboard Cards

It’s not just Selesneal’s main deck that’s packed with MH3 goodness. Their sideboard has plenty of new cards, too. Vexing Bauble is conspicuously absent, as the sideboard card everyone had their money on during preview season. In its place, however, sits Disruptor Flute. In the combo-heavy early days of MH3, this card is a dream come true. You can either pre-emptively slow down a key combo piece, or lock one out of the game entirely, depending on the card in question.

Shuko, for example, folds completely to Flute’s second ability, indirectly clipping Nadu, Winged Wisdom’s pesky wings. It can really throw a spanner in the works for the new Ral, Monsoon Mage Ruby Storm decks as well. As long as combo decks keep putting up results, Disruptor Flute will keep being a great sideboard option. Even more so here, since it can come down on turn one via Ugin’s Labyrinth.

Beyond the Flute, Null Elemental Blast features, as an on-color answer to pretty much everything Domain Zoo is doing. It has few targets outside of this matchup, but that’s just fine for a sideboard piece this efficient.

Lastly, Selesneal includes a couple of copies of Thief of Existence in the board. It’s hard to view this humble Eldrazi as anything more than an efficient answer to The One Ring, but that’s an important enough card in the format to warrant the inclusion regardless. Notably, it can also hit Leyline of the Guildpact in the Domain matchup, with no risk of falling foul of a Stubborn Denial, since the exile effect is a cast trigger.

To Slay A Spaghetti Monster

RG-Eldrazi-MTG-Cards-to-Beat-It

It’s a great time to be an Eldrazi fan, then. But if Selesneal’s deck takes off, or inspires imitators in other colors, then you’ll need to know how to defend yourself against Zendikar’s eldritch enemies. Here are a few suggestions for your own sideboard that can help turn the tide in an Eldrazi matchup.

First up: Infernal Reckoning[/tooltip]. Many identified this as a potential financial spec as soon as MH3’s Eldrazi theme was revealed, but its price point remains reasonable. For now. Getting rid of any colorless creature and gaining life for just one mana is an incredible deal. Granted, the card is useless against Emrakul, but it can take out a Thought-Knot Seer or Devourer of Destiny.

Speaking of Emrakul, one of the best answers to it actually comes in MH3 itself: Flare of Malice. At instant speed, for no mana, this is a clean answer to an Emrakul cheated in from Through the Breach. Just be sure to use it before your opponent declares their attack, or Annihilator will still kick in. This is best in a deck that can leverage the alternate cost, but in a pinch any black deck can use it.

If you want to take a less direct approach, you can try attacking Eldrazi decks at the source of their power: their fast mana. Removing their Eldrazi Temples and Ugin’s Labyrinths will slow them down a ton, giving you time to race them effectively. Sundering Eruption is one of the best options you can choose for this duty. Not only is it a land when you need one, but it also shuts down non-flying blockers, helping Aggro decks turn the corner. MH3 is truly a set full of questions and answers.

Read More: MTG Players Find New Tech to Combat Broken Combo Decks

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