7, Sep, 23

Wilds of Eldraine Combo Obliterates Your Board!

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Article at a Glance

Wilds of Eldraine may have had its prerelease weekend start this past Friday, but the new set only hit online clients the following Tuesday. Since everyone generally plays Sealed events on the first weekend, it isn’t easy to find other events outside to participate in. That’s why, while prerelease hits Friday, the actual brewing tends to begin the following online release day, especially for non-Standard formats.

Fast forward to the first day of Wilds of Eldraine online, and a ton of spicy brews are hitting the internet. The spiciest of which, at least in our opinion, comes from Modern streamer Aspiringspike. Presenting a new twist on an old combo we previously discussed, this Modern brew uses Wilds of Eldraine’s best card in an incredibly unique way. We wouldn’t recommend this brew to players trying to win as many games as possible, but it is a fun idea.

Beseech the Mirror Does a Great Cascade Impression

While most of the hype behind Beseech the Mirror is in regards to its potential to pull of devastating Storm combos in Legacy, as well as make fast combo decks in that format more consistent, Beseech the Mirror can also pull off a fantastic Cascade impression in Modern.

If you’ve played Modern, it’s only a matter of time before you run into a Cascade-based strategy. Some of the most powerful spells in the Modern format, like Crashing Footfalls and Living End, do not have a mana value. The absence of a mana value forces the player to use an alternate method of casting the card – paying their Suspend cost and waiting a few turns for the card to go off.

Cascade gets around this. As far as Cascade is concerned, your cards that do not have a mana value actually have a mana value of zero. This means that Cascade can avoid the Suspend cost of the various spells in question and cast them immediately.

As we’ve discussed before, Beseech the Mirror is also capable of this. Because it can cast the card it searched for as long as you pay the Bargain cost, Beseech the Mirror is also able to bypass the Suspend cost of the zero mana spells. Many Legacy players immediately thought to use this alongside Gaea’s Will to recast all their spells from their graveyard, doubling the length of combo sequence to generate much-needed Storm count for a Tendrils of Agony kill.

Instead of Gaia’s Will, or one of the other well-established Cascade options in Modern, Aspiringspike has instead decided to experiment with Restore Balance.

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Restore Balance

restore balance

The big difference between Beseech the Mirror and existing Cascade effects like Violent Outburst is the deckbuilding restriction established for either card. If you want to Cascade into your zero mana spell consistently, you cannot have any other cards in your deck that Cascade can hit. Generally, since the cheapest consistent Cascade spell is three mana, this means that, aside from your intended target, you cannot have cards with a mana value of less than three in your deck. If you do, your Cascade combo becomes inconsistent.

Beseech the Mirror doesn’t care about mana value. As long as you can pay the card’s Bargain cost, it will consistently cast your zero mana spell, so long as there are copies on your library to search for. This lets you play smaller mana value cards in your deck, which works a lot better with Restore Balance.

Restore Balance is a callback to one of the most broken MTG cards in history. Forcing either player to sacrifice lands, creatures and discard cards until both players have the same minimal amount of the two, it’s easy to build a lopsided board state that wipes out all of your opponent’s value.

Aspiringspike’s list uses cards like the various Borderpost effects to warp the number of lands that Restore Balance sees. This causes the opponent to sacrifice a high number of lands to match Spike’s land count, while the mana rock Borderposts can keep tapping for mana.

This strategy is also quite powerful alongside Urza’s Saga. This land kills itself off after all of the chapters have been resolved, making Restore Balance even deadlier. Otherwise, Urza’s Saga can search for The Underworld Cookbook to discard your hand for Restore Balance shenanigans, and does a great job as a plan B grindy tool that can create gigantic Constructs. Of course, if you’re going run the Cookbook, it only makes sense that Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar comes along for the ride. Ovalchase Daredevil as a one-of rounds out the common Food value engine.

While Aspiringspike decides not to include Zuran Orb[/toooltips] in his first brew, it is a card commonly used alongside Balance strategies that can be searched with Urza’s Saga. If you want to try this deck for yourself, Zuran Orb could be something to consider as a one-of.

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Another Way to Restore Balance

Like the other iteration of this combo we discussed in the past, another way to cast Restore Balance without needing to wait for six turns for it to go off is As Foretold. Since this card offers a way for players to cast cards from your hand alternatively, it also gets around the Suspend cost. As far as As Foretold is concerned, just like Cascade or Beseech the Mirror, your cards without a mana value have a mana value of zero. This means resolving As Foretold means you can immediately attempt to cast a Restore Balance.

As Foretold can also be used to cast [tooltips]Profane Tutor this way, which can immediately search for whatever it is you need. Because you’re running eight tutor spells in your deck, there is a suite of silver bullets available to help you leverage multiple common scenarios. The One Ring can help you draw some gas if you’re running out. Sheoldred, the Apocalypse is both good against opposing Rings and can help you stabilize when combined with your Ring. Finally, Karn, the Great Creator stops opposing artifacts, including The One Ring, and can offer an even finer suite of answers to various issues.

How Does it Perform?

This is a day one brew, so the expected performance may be a bit wonky. If the idea behind this deck sounds interesting, Aspiringspike played through a Modern league with it on his Twitch channel. I won’t give away the result, but it definitely did not get a shining review. If you want to take a look, especially before dedicating to building this in paper, I recommend that you do so. It does appear he added Zuran Orb during the stream into a secondary build, so do consider that card if you want to try this.

Overall, the deck does appear to have an issue with drawing redundant copies of combo pieces. While casting Restore Balance can win a game outright, you need to both draw a way to cast it and, in the case of As Foretold, the card itself. Drawing multiple Restore Balances or As Foretolds without the other part is a serious issue.

That said, with some silver bullets and multiple ways to tutor up missing pieces, Beseech the Mirror’s newest take does have a somewhat solid plan. It’s not a top tier winning strategy, but it is something unique to try if you have the cards and want to give it a whirl.

If you want to experience some powerful Magic that harkens back to the game’s earliest days using cards from the game’s latest ones, this is a good fit. If you’re trying to win as many games as possible, however, many of the best strategies in Modern probably will not have Wilds of Eldraine cards included.

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