To me, green mana represents life and sustainability. It’s always refreshing when I can go back and play in the trees—Especially when that leads to winning.
This past week, I have been working on a green deck that’s the product of many years of evolution. The deck is inspired by our Pro Tour Philly deck, which Jesse Hampton took to the Top 8, and the Green Summer deck I took to the finals of SCG Portland last summer. This deck is brand new, yet old and established.
TWOO THE BREACH[draft]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Through the Breach[/draft]
I think this is the most powerful combo in Modern. Five mana—YOU’RE DEAD. Two cards, one payment. We took this combo to the Top 8 of the first Modern Pro Tour, and this was one of the few combos in that Top 8 that remained unbanned.
Sending [card emrakul, the aeons torn]Emrakul[/card] [card]through the breach[/card] is obvious, but the trick to building around the combo is in finding a deck that likes to see Emrakul and Through the Breach without the combo. In other words, how about a deck that uses Through the Breach, and a deck that uses Emrakul, WITHOUT the other? But randomly gets them both too? Sound good? Is it possible?
Twoo the Breach[deck]Main Deck:
3 Stomping Ground
1 Overgrown Tomb
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Dryad Arbor
4 Mosswort Bridge
1 Treetop Village
1 Kessig Wolf Run
4 Arbor Elf
2 Deathrite Shaman
3 Joraga Treespeaker
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Devoted Druid
4 Elvish Archdruid
1 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
4 Through the Breach,
4 Primeval Titan
2 Regal Force
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
2 Ancient Grudge
4 Thorn of Amethyst
3 Blood Moon
2 Cunning Sparkmage
2 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
2 Slaughter Games[/deck]
Unlocking the Combos
This deck has SO much going on. It’s the most difficult deck I have played with in a long, long time. It is extremely complex, has bizarre combos, and attacks in so many ways. Let’s delve straight into unlocking the combos:[draft]Through the Breach
Primeval Titan[/draft] [card]Through the Breach[/card]/[card]Primeval Titan[/card] is a game-ending play in this deck. Why is this?
Wait until your opponent’s end step if you can. On the end of their turn, send Primeval Titan through the breach. Grab 2 [card]Mosswort Bridge[/card]s. This gives you eight looks at a game-ending Emrakul or another fatty.
Untap. Attack with Primeval Titan. Grab [card]Treetop Village[/card] and [card]Dryad Arbor[/card]. Activate Treetop Village. That’s 10 power. Activate Mosswort Bridges. WHAM, BAM, THANK YA MA’AM!
A resolved [card]Through the Breach[/card]/[card]Primeval Titan[/card] will cast [card emrakul, the aeons torn]Emrakul[/card] if it is in the top eight cards of the deck.[draft]Through the Breach
Few things feel better than sending a [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card] through the breach. This combo can allow you to surprise kill your opponent with a massive team pump to your mana guys.
Also important to note is that a Craterhoof plus another creature—even [card]Misty Rainforest[/card] into [card]Dryad Arbor[/card]—is a surprise 10 power for [card]Mosswort Bridge[/card].[draft]Devoted Druid
Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/draft]
This is an infinite damage, infinite mana combo. Wait, what? Yeah, it doesn’t come up much, but if you play with the deck enough it WILL come up.
So how does it work?[card ezuri, renegade leader]Ezuri[/card] gives your Elves +3/+3 for 2GGG. [card]Devoted Druid[/card] can turn 1 toughness into a new mana. So 2 Devoted Druids will turn a 5 mana pump into 6 mana. Every time you go through the loop you net 1 mana. This creates infinite mana and you can use the infinite mana to give your Devoted Druids infinite power for the kill. BOOO-YEAH!
Together, casting [card emrakul, the aeons torn]Emrakul[/card] is within the realm of possibility.[draft]Devoted Druid[/draft]
Devoted Druid, like [card]Joraga Treespeaker[/card], can cast a turn 3 [card]Through the Breach[/card] without any help. This card in particular has all kinds of bizarre interactions beyond this, though.
First of all, remember that he can generate extra mana when his toughness gets boosted. So [card]Elvish Archdruid[/card], [card]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/card], and [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card] will all generate crucial extra mana.
Here’s where things get weird though: the card sometimes has negative power, and that negative power is subtracted from our total of 10 for Mosswort Bridge. The fix is giving Devoted Druid one too many counters and letting the poor martyr die. Thanks Devoted Druid![draft]Mosswort Bridge[/draft] [card]Mosswort Bridge[/card] is the heart of this green deck. It makes everything work. And everything makes this card work! So, how do we count to 10 power? [draft]Dryad Arbor
Kessig Wolf Run[/draft]
Our suite of manlands, with or without [card]Primeval Titan[/card], are key to reaching the requisite 10 power to cheat Emrakul into play. Remember that [card]Dryad Arbor[/card] can be fetched, so any fetchland represents 1 power.
These guys also make a solid beatdown squad when the time calls. If the opponent keeps us below 10 power, that is fine. To the red zone![draft]Arbor Elf
Elvish Archdruid makes counting to 10 pretty easy. It doesn’t take that many Elves to get there.[draft]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/draft]
Ezuri’s overrun ability will generally get to 10 power.[draft]Primeval Titan[/draft]
Playing with Primeval Titan makes me so, so happy! The card is extremely powerful here, but it’s also difficult to play correctly.
If you hard cast it, the ideal is to grab two [card]Mosswort Bridge[/card]s and assemble the 10 power to use them on the next attack.
But what if Primeval Titan is under threat of death? Grabbing a couple manlands is serviceable. If we are able to untap and attack with Primeval Titan, we might feel bad that we don’t have two Mosswort Bridges—but hey, we’re attacking with Primeval Titan.
Everybody always wants to know how to beat sweepers with a deck like this. Fair question.
First, let’s look at [card]Joraga Treespeaker[/card] and [card]Devoted Druid[/card]. Each of these can threaten a turn 3 [card through the breach]Breach[/card]/[card emrakul, the aeons torn]Emrakul[/card] BY THEMSELVES. That means we can play just one guy, and if they don’t want to risk getting their face obliterated, they need to play [card]Pyroclasm[/card] as a 1-for-1.
We can threaten a turn 3 Primeval Titan with only two of the following cards: a [card joraga treespeaker]Treespeaker[/card], [card]Devoted Druid[/card], or [card]Elvish Archdruid[/card] plus any other Elf. This is a situation where our opponent MUST sweep. That makes their ace just a 2-for-1. Good, but not back breaking.
We also have [card ezuri, renegade leader]Ezuri[/card]. Ezuri is a nice way to nerf [card]Supreme Verdict[/card] and [card]Pyroclasm[/card]. Also, if we combine it with Elvish Archdruid, Pyroclasm becomes almost worthless.
There WILL be times when sweepers are a blow out, but most of the time they aren’t. It’s not a huge worry.
Twoo the Breach Sideboard
This deck is highly focused and as a result shouldn’t be diluted after sideboard. It also has the flexibility of being able to splash most things. Thus, I want to play and splash only the most powerful cards I can. There is no reason to play mediocre upgrade cards. Use your imagination!
2 [card]Ancient Grudge[/card] 4 [card]Thorn of Amethyst[/card] 3 [card]Blood Moon[/card] 2 [card]Cunning Sparkmage[/card] 2 [card]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/card] 2 [card]Slaughter Games[/card] [draft]2 Ancient Grudge[/draft] [card]Ancient Grudge[/card] is excellent against both Affinity and Pod strategies. A single copy can make either of these decks crumble.[draft]4 Thorn of Amethyst[/draft] [card]Thorn of Amethyst[/card] is powerful against combo decks like Storm, Living End, and Eggs. All of these decks have a way around the card, but an unanswered one often spells game over on the spot. [draft]3 Blood Moon[/draft]
TURN 2 [card]BLOOD MOON[/card]! Yes, this deck can rock Blood Moon like the best of them. The card is extremely powerful in the format because many of the decks are so vulnerable that they can’t cast a spell after it resolves.
The card does shut off our special lands. But who needs special lands when the opponent can’t cast spells? Also, the kind of deck that is vulnerable to Blood Moon is usually the kind of deck that makes it very hard for us to get to 10 power.[draft]2 Cunning Sparkmage[/draft] [card]Cunning Sparkmage[/card] is incredibly effective against decks with little dorks like Affinity, Naya Pod, and Infect. This man can completely take over a game out of nowhere. We might want more. [draft]2 Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/draft]
I bring in [card ezuri, renegade leader]Ezuri[/card] often because of his utility against sweepers. Also, against decks gunning for our mana creatures, this guy is a little easier to cast than [card]Regal Force[/card] or [card craterhoof behemoth]Craterhoof[/card], so I will often make that swap too.[draft]2 Slaughter Games[/draft] [card]Slaughter Games[/card] is a nice hedge against combo decks. Some decks will roll over and die once their namesake card is pulled out.
Twoo the Breach Matchups
There are too many matchups, and each one is complex. I could write a book. Fortunately, I don’t have to. If you want to see how this deck plays, go to twitchtv.com/traviswoo and check out the video archives. I have about 10 hours of matches from just this past week.
Other Ways to Build
We have 5 colors if we want it, so we have options. Here is something to scratch the surface:[draft]Summoning Trap
Tooth and Nail
I am having a ton of fun playing the deck. It’s powerful, and it’s also green. My favorite! If you are inclined to cast [card]Llanowar Elves[/card] and send [card]Primeval Titan[/card]s through the breach, I can’t recommend this enough. Have fun, do work!
<3 Travis facebook.com/travisdwoo twitter.com/travisdwoo twitchtv.com/traviswoo Questions! Comments! Think there’s something I forgot?