Moonlight Brews – Swarming With Eldritch Moon

Columbus is already upon us! Like almost every magic player, I love to brew when new sets come out.  From the time the spoiler comes out, every competitive player is trying to figure out the best week one deck for them.  For the last set, I felt that I had found the perfect deck for my play style.  I shared my White-Blue Humans build with my friend Collin and we both ended up in the Top 8 of the Open.  If only I was as prepared this time around!

While perusing through the spoilers for Eldritch Moon, I found many cards that have powerful abilities and interactions.  Eldritch Moon brings around many sweet cards that either slot into decks that are already established in the format or bring about a whole new archetype!

A card like Thalia, Heretic Cathar slots right into existing Human based aggressive decks.  I could easily see her slotting into a deck like Bant Humans, as she applies pressure and disruption in a deck that is already tough to play against!  The UR Goggle decks could take advantage of a card like Bedlam Reveler since it is already filled with instants and sorceries that Pyromancer’s Goggles takes advantage of.  Is it a better win condition that Thing in the Ice? Does it fill a different role than the 9/7 Horror? Will they end up being best friends and work together in the main deck?

I started testing standard with Eldritch Moon a bit late in the game, so many ideas have already been shared and discussed.  These lists are already being refined and showing some pretty promising results.  Here is what I have learned after doing a bit of research. Gerry Thompson and Michael Majors Blue Red Emerge Eldrazi deck is showcasing the new powerful Emerge mechanic and its power.  Infinite Bant Company lists and Spirits decks are trying to prove the power of Spell Queller.  Mono-White Aggro (splashes red sometimes) is testing out Collective Effort as an extra anthem and removal spell for creatures that get just too big for their collection of 2/1’s.  Harmless Offering with Demonic Pact is the new Splinter Twin deck. No? Maybe I got carried away.

What have I been brewing? Well here is a brew that I came up with late one night last week.  There has not actually been a ton of discussion, after the initial spoiler, of the card Eldritch Evolution.  Almost everyone immediately started talking about how this spell can do some pretty insane thing in Modern.  You can turn a Kitchen Finks into a Thragtusk (or Keranos, God of Storms) for the value play, or cheat out an Allosaurus Rider and turn it into an Iona, Shield of Emeria or Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite to stop your opponent dead in their tracks.  I think that we could see Eldritch Evolution play a role in Standard as well.  May I present a deck in its infancy with, I hope, some potential.

BUG Evolution

4 Duskwatch Recruiter

4 Eldrazi Skyspawner

4 Sylvan Advocate

4 Catacomb Sifter

4 Matter Reshaper

3 Hangarback Walker

2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist

1 Smothering Abomination

4 Eldritch Evolution

2 Tajuru Warcaller

4 Reality Smasher

4 Llanowar Wastes

4 Yavimaya Coast

3 Hissing quagmire

1 Lumbering Falls

4 Evolving Wilds

1 Wastes

4 Forest

1 Island

2 Swamp

So what the hell is going on here?  Well, a bunch of creatures trying to attack your opponent.  The idea behind this deck is to flood the board and kill your opponent by Eldritch Evolutioning a 3 costed creature into a Tajuru Warcaller.  The enter the battlefield trigger on the Ally will pump your team and hopefully help you crunch in for the win in one big swing.

All the creatures are chosen to provide value when they hit the battlefield so that when you sacrifice them for the Evolution, they have already done something for you.  Matter Reshaper grants you a card to the battlefield or hand, Eldrazi Skyspawner and Catacomb Sifter leave behind a scion. Since the creatures gain value when they ETB and are also cheap costed, they are naturally resilient to Reflector Mage.

The other target for Eldritch Evolution is Reality Smasher.  Crunch. This deck originally had 4 Zulaport Cutthroat, but without a sacrifice outlet for the team, I never found myself draining my opponent out of the game.  I replaced them with 3 Hangarback Walker and a Smothering Abomination.  I wanted have a 4 drop that I can tutor for with my 2 drops if they become irrelevant or if the ground gets too cluttered.  Hangarback works well with Abomination and Evolution.  It can tutor up any 2 drop and leave behind a board of fliers (I heard flying is good with Tajuru Warcaller).

So many of them cost 3 mana or less to cast, why no Collected Company? Consistency? Maybe there is room for them in this deck, but I wanted to maximize the consistency of my current list in order to test the power level of the deck.  I have had a decent amount of success with this list, but it isn’t quite ready for an SCG Open yet.

What else can you do with this type of deck?  Well, since Tajuru Warcaller doesn’t give trample, maybe flying is a must.  I could see a UG Flyer Deck that utilizes this strategy to fly over an opponent’s board.  There is also potential for a Bant Evolution deck.  Playing cards like Reflector Mage, Eldrazi Displacer, and potentially Spell Queller could be good as well.  That color combination would give to us the option of playing Tamiyo, Field Researcher as well.

Another card that tends to fit into this type of strategy is Craterhoof Behemoth. Well, Wizards of the Coast just printed us an Eldrazi version of our favorite green card, Decimator of Provinces!  Now, to compare them completely is unfair, Behemoth is better, but I do see applications for his colorless brother.  The issue with playing him in the BUG deck was the gigantic mana cost.  In order to cast him with Emerge, we needed to generate 9 mana through our creatures and lands! That’s a ton of mana.  In order to do that, I think we need to make sure our creatures are all pseudo Birds of Paradise.  A GB Cryptolith Rite with Loam Dryad, Elvish Visionary, Deathcap Cultivator and Catacomb Sifter are a good place to start.   Here is an extremely rough draft:

4 Llanowar Wastes

4 Hissing Quagmire

2 Foul Orchard

2 Yavimaya Coast

3 Caves of Koilos

2 Foundry of the Consuls

5 Forest

3 Swamp

4 Loam Dryad

4 Elvish Visionary

4 Catacomb Sifter

4 Deathcap Cultivator

2 Decimator of Provinces

2 Brood Monitor

2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer // Nissa, Sage Animist

4 Matter Reshaper

4 Gather the Pack

Liliana, the Last Hope

4 Cryptolith Rite

Now, I may be getting really greedy going as wide as Brood Monitor, but I like it on paper.  I would love some feedback on this monstrosity.  Is anybody else testing something similar? Leave a comment!  Thanks for reading and have fun exploring the new cards of Eldritch Moon!


Christopher Juliano

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