Living Lore was sent to me with the caption “this card was made for you.”
But maybe I was made for Living Lore?
It’s hard to argue definitive purpose, but easy to see a connection. I will do my best to help give this card a nice, loving home in Modern surrounded with great family and loving friends.
I mean, what’s not to love? This card is totally absurd. Off the charts in uniqueness and power level. Yes, power level. This card is insane. Maybe it won’t be tier-1 busted but it will birth new archetypes that will stick around for ages.
Let’s start off with the big one. How about a 4-mana 11/11. Is that a good deal?
And if it deals COMBAT DAMAGE you get to cast Enter the Infinite. Not damage to a player—combat damage of any kind.
4 mana may be a lot for Modern but it’s not an uncastable amount for that kind of effect. It’s a good rate.
Casting Enter the Infinite should be a win on the spot. Simian Spirit Guide out a Conflagrate and blast them in the face. Lightning Storm or Lightning Bolts with Soul Spikes work as well, but Conflagrate is safe.
Our favorite Spirit Monkey is going to be in the deck already, because it powers out your 4-mana avatar ahead of schedule.
Yes, it is a WOMBO COMBO.
4-mana 7/7. Cracks in combat to cast Cruel Ultimatum. That’s a good start. Drain for 5, they discard 3 and sacrifice, you draw 3 cards and return… a creature… from your graveyard. How about this Living Lore?
Replay it as a 7/7 with Cruel Ultimatum under it. Yup, it’s a hard lock. There aren’t many better ways to win the game than Cruel Ultimatum loops.
Two efficient and flexible options. Faithless Looting with the always great flashback and Izzet Charm with two great interactive modes to adjust to the opponent’s plan.
Spellweaver Helix is cheaper to get going but requires a duplicate sorcery. Spelltwine is a bit more expensive but requires an opponent to have a spell in their graveyard.
In the interest of saving mana, Spellweaver Helix seems like the way to go, especially because it’s not just limited to one use. You can loop Cruel Ultimatum over and over with cards like:
Raven’s Crime is especially cute as a looper with Spellweaver Helix and Cruel Ultimatum. There’s another 10/10 way to win a game.
How’s haste sound for Living Lore?? I don’t know about you but I’m not interested in waiting around for an opponent to play a Liliana and make me sacrifice a creature. No thanks—I’ll just play this hasty Living Lore and send it into combat immediately.
The main drawback of Hall of the Bandit Lord beyond the life payment is its inability to cast Cruel Ultimatum. I have plans to cast Cruel Ultimatum from my hand. Urborg solves this problem. This combo gives you BB and you only need UURRB more.
Pentad Prism is premium fast mana in Modern to set up for big turns early. It also realistcally ramps to Cruel Ultimatum. Straight-up casting Cruel Ultimatum goes a long way toward winning a game of Magic: the Gathering.
Here’s my initial list:
Modern Living Lore
I’m excited to try this out as an incredibly fun and competitive deck that wins in extravagant fashion. It has a good amount of disruption and a variety of over-the-top win conditions.
The Grixis base gives you a ton of options in sideboarding as well—you could dive into another combo approach, you could board in some aggro creatures, or you could morph into a straight-up control deck.
The shell is here and we appear to have something real on our hands. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Thank heavens for Living Lore.