Budget Modern Glimpse of Tomorrow Combo: MTG Deck Guide

For those who’ve kept up with the Modern format recently, it’s been impossible to deny the power brought to the format with Modern Horizons 2. Specifically, the card Shardless Agent has made major impact on the metagame at large, establishing two of today’s top decks. While Rhinos and Living End may be the most well established of the Shardless Agent decks, there is a third cascade deck hiding among the ranks that works best to take opponents by surprise. Rhinos has cemented itself as the midrange variant of these cascade strategies, and the most fair of the three by far. Living End tends to function somewhere between a combo deck and a control deck, attempting to get the jump on players while heavily interacting with them. Today’s deck is the most all-in, looking to accomplish its game plan by ignoring the opponent’s side of the board entirely as it sets up a devastating flurry of spells and triggers. Let’s take a look at Glimpse of Tomorrow combo.



Budget Modern Glimpse of Tomorrow Combo by Darren Magnotti


Header - The Deck

Glimpse of Tomorrow is a combo deck revolving around resolving its namesake. The deck looks to play as many permanents that put additional permanents into play in the first couple of turns to take full advantage of Glimpse’s ability.

For those that have never seen this deck in action before, the first and only real goal is to resolve a Glimpse of Tomorrow. The rest of the deck is dedicated to making that Glimpse as devastating as possible. One of the quirks of the composition of this archetype is that the cards used to win the game are the same cards used to fuel the engine. The majority of them create tokens upon entering, or otherwise establish two permanents in play for the price of one. Once casting the first Glimpse, the deck then has the opportunity to continue to chain and spin the wheel additional times, further and further worsening the threat that the opponent needs to deal with until it can deliver the final blow.


Header - The Setup

The first and most obvious thing to know about this deck is the same of all cascade strategies in the format, in that every card in the deck sans the main one costs at least three mana. That’s not to say that the deck is just sitting around doing nothing in the meantime though.

Rift SowerWavesifter

Rift Sower and Wavesifter are the plays for the opening turns, either to help get the mana flowing or to get the token train rolling. Other versions of the deck use the Incarnation cycle to offer a bit of interaction in the first two turns, though one of the budget concessions that I chose to go with was a trimming of first turn options.

Risen Reef

While cascading on turn three is sometimes the correct move, the deck also brings with it a fair amount of setup in that slot as well. Risen Reef is a strong repetitive engine that can fill the board up with additional lands. It also helps to chain subsequent Glimpses together, as hitting one or two off of the first Glimpse can in combination with some of the other Elementals in the deck load up the board with enough lands to hard cast some of the larger threats.

Tireless Provisioner

Tireless Provisioner similarly sets up later turns with enough mana to power some of the larger threats out by turning lands into Treasures. While it may occasionally be correct to create a Food instead, the Treasure is generally going to be the much better choice as playing to win the game is usually better than playing to stay alive. One of the sketchier aspects of this variant of the Glimpse deck is a focus on the combo, but being the “all-in” version of the cascade deck, the budget version is going to focus on doing the thing that the deck does. So while other versions without such budget limitations have a lot more tools for this section, we’ll be moving on to the ways that this deck wins the game. 


Header - The Top-End

The simplest way to make games end with this deck is to utilize the “free” cost of cards from the top of the library in order to cheat huge threats into play. While some players have found success with individually powerful creatures such as Archon of Cruelty, Iona, Shield of Emeria or repeatedly triggering Omnath, Locus of Creation, most games are won at the hands of synergy based threats instead.

Chancellor of the ForgeAvenger of ZendikarGoblin Dark-Dwellers

Chancellor of the Forge, aside from creating an additional permanent at the beginning of the game, floods the board as soon as it enters with hasty threats. We will cover stacking triggers in a moment, but with correct stack management, one copy of this card can frequently be enough to overwhelm an opponent’s board state and swing for lethal on the combo turn.

The deck is also packing Avenger of Zendikar to similarly load up the board with as many dinky token threats as possible. Being an Elemental to trigger Risen Reef while also buffing every Plant in play with subsequent land drops makes Avenger a real “best of both worlds” card that can both end the game on its own and further bolster future glimpses to an insane degree.

Lastly is Goblin Dark-Dwellers, whose sole purpose is to continue the chain and recycle copies of Glimpse from the graveyard. Because it says “without paying its mana cost,” you’re allowed to play the zero-mana cards just as you can with the cascade spells. Chaining together Glimpses can and will result in the majority of your deck coming into play, which in my experience has been enough to grant an opponent’s concession.


Header - Proper Stacking

Most combo decks require some sort of prior knowledge going into a game, and Glimpse is no different. Traditionally, this refers to things such as spell sequencing, or understanding how different game rules interact with niche effects. For the Glimpse deck, it’s all about knowing how to stack triggers, as there are definitely incorrect orders to have the many many triggers that the deck creates resolve. The correct order to set things up is as follows. If there’s a trigger on the list that isn’t in play, then it’s usually safe to just ignore that card on the list.

In order from last to first resolution, or reverse order by which to put effects onto the stack:

At this point, observe how many lands are in play. If there are three or more or if there is a Goblin Dark-Dwellers/any possibility of casting another Glimpse this turn such as another cascade spell in hand:

If this is not the last Glimpse to be resolved this turn, swap the position of these two triggers. 

  • Lastly, every other trigger can go on in any order. Wavesifter and Tireless Provisioner don’t contribute meaningfully to any other synergies. Don’t forget about Khalni Garden as well.
  • Keep similar effects next to each other. If there are two Chancellor triggers, put them onto the stack one after the other etc. 

This may look a bit strange, but looking through the list in reverse order will help to clear it up. The first thing that is going to resolve is the creation of the artifact tokens, which have no real bearing on anything else. Then comes the Risen Reef trigger(s), which will ideally put additional lands into play. Avenger’s trigger will count those additional lands and create additional tokens as well. Chancellor will then see those additional Avenger tokens to create it’s own additional tokens. Avenger then makes its tokens large, and Goblin will start the cycle over. 

It’s important to note that on the last Glimpse of the turn, that we want the Avenger tokens to become as large as possible, which is why we’re flipping the plant creation and the Risen Reef triggers. Netting one or two additional 0/1s isn’t going to be nearly as relevant as getting one or two additional counters on each plant in play, so we want to make some plants before those extra lands come in so that they receive the bonus. Is your head spinning yet? This section took me about an hour to figure out how to word properly, so it’s no worry. Stack interactions can get complicated!


Header - How Does It Play?

Glimpse is definitely a deck that you need to take for a test drive before heading out on the road with it. The deck can offer some surprisingly complex board states and trigger stacking, which can be quite daunting if you aren’t prepared for it.

A majority of the gameplay was ultimately pretty same-y though, with the only option on each turn to work toward the cascade spell. That’s not to say that the deck isn’t enjoyable or can’t hold its own though. Like many counter-check decks before it, Glimpse asks an imposing question that the opponent needs to answer immediately or risk losing, because even though this deck feels like a “spin the wheel” deck on paper, it’s actually quite consistent when left to do its thing.

I was impressed with even the budget version’s capacity to race some of the most well known decks in the format, from Rhinos to Merfolk and Yawgmoth. If the opponent isn’t prepared to remove threats from the stack they will frequently just lose.

One of the biggest threats that I found was surprising at the time, though in retrospect rather obvious – the number of decks packing Engineered Explosives right now is kind of insane. This card completely invalidates this budget version’s strategy for a mere two mana, and made many games quite complicated. That specific card’s proliferation aside though, it seems as though Glimpse is very firm in its niche amongst the other players in the format. The juke can be fun as well, with many opponents expecting to see Crashing Footfalls off of the cascade thanks to the mana base. While I don’t think that this is an amazing deck that’s strong enough to be one’s only option to take to Modern night, I do think that it’s a fun side project that can dominate an underprepared metagame once or twice.


Header - Upgrades

Modern Glimpse of Tomorrow Combo by benj


Moving into the non-budgeted version, the deck becomes a lot more reliant on Elementals in general. Between the Incarnations providing free value and interaction in the early turns to Omnath powering out mana and damage, and all of these making the Risen Reef go brrrrrrrrrrrrr, the deck becomes a whole lot more synergistic as a whole. One thing you do lose a bit of is that explosive punch, however, which could be why some players have taken a slightly different route as mentioned above, by including some individually powerful game-enders as well. Ultimately though, however you slice it the upgrades are replacing “bad” cards with the best cards in the format, so what’s not to enjoy. 

That’s all for this one. When I decided on Glimpse for this week I thought it would be something simple and straightforward; little did I know that this deck has some crazy draws and makes you think about things you’ve never had to think about before. While being the most fragile of the cascade decks in the format, it’s definitely the most explosive, which is definitely a trait that appeals to a good number of players. It just goes to show that you don’t need to play conventionally to get some real results. Until next time, stay safe, play smart and thanks for reading!


1 thought on “Budget Modern Glimpse of Tomorrow Combo: MTG Deck Guide”

  1. Thank you for posting this article about Glimpse! I have been playing Glimpse for awhile now. The upgraded version is nearly perfect. You have the ability to create infinite damage with Omnath, endurance putting back your graveyard and recasting violent with risen reef triggers on the stack. With the upgraded version suggestions would be to take out the Chancellor of the Forge for Fable of the Mirror Breaker. And the sideboard remove the dead/gone and force of vigor for Knights of Autumn. Here is my reasoning…Blood moon is now being played in more decks. This deck gets wrecked by blood moon. Today my opponent turn 3 cast blood moon. I was able to fetch and grab a basic land and go to my turn 3. I was able to play my Fable. The goblin survived and next turn I was able to swing and get the treasure the goblin makes. Plus, got rid of extra lands with the Fable’s 2nd saga. The treasure allowed me to play around the blood moon. The value that Fable provides is Mythic level. Also the kiki-jiki was able to copy my fury some following turns later. The sideboard change with the knights are for a few reasons. You don’t want spells in your deck when you spin. When you glimpse the worst thing to see is hitting your other glimpses, violent outbursts, mystical dispute, dead//gone or force of vigor. You need to hit creatures of your glimpse. Knights of Autumn work great because they give you way to remove enchantments, artifacts and gain 4 life (great against burn). I would also love to see a Sideboard Guide for this deck added to this post. Thanks again for the article!

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