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Woo Brews – Turbo Land Warp

I remember writing articles all the way back in 2003 as a 13-year old, but there were a lot of way points between then and now.

Perhaps the most important hand to shake for everything to happen was LSV’s.

Luis is singlehandedly responsible for the resurgence of world Magic. The guy captained the first modern super team—Team ChannelFireball—a group of the best individual players that went on a dominant tear, all while challenging the Magic: the Gathering content game by signing great producers and pouring out content. Since then we’ve seen his public fitness transformation and the future is bright.

I mean, okay, a lot of people had to do with the growth of Magic, those working at Wizards of the Coast perhaps the most. But LSV has had a huge influence on the game. There’s a reason he’s in the Hall of Fame and a reason he’s so beloved by the community.

Anyway, I remember pointing LSV out to my girlfriend and her friends at Grand Prix Seattle in 2009.

Grand Prix Seattle was one of my all-time favorite tournament experiences. I took a homebrew cascade-based, 29-land, 31-land-destruction deck. The night before the tournament, despite several game losses due to tardiness I advanced to the finals of a Grand Prix Trial before the tournament hall had to close and the both of us were awarded 3 byes.

I took the byes and ran with them all the way to 12th place, good enough to qualify for Pro Tour Amsterdam. I remember in the last round I was so confident in winning that I continually helped my opponent with his triggers when any game infraction would send me to the Pro Tour.

The tournament still left me a little bit sour though because of mistakes in the late rounds (including keeping 6 lands Enlisted Wurm vs. Ari Lax) and because what should have been a breakout rogue performance was noticed by no one because my 12th place deck list went unpublished.

Anyway, back to pointing out Luis Scott-Vargas battling in a feature match to my girlfriend and her friends. My memory is a bit hazy but I remember the next words being “Did he just pick his nose?”

NO.

LISTEN.

THAT’S LUIS SCOTT-VARGAS.

THAT’S LSV.

HE’S THE GREATEST.

IT’S A LONG TOURNAMENT. IT’S PHYSICALLY CHALLENGING. THE MAN NEEDS TO CLEAN HIS NOSE. THIS MAN STANDS FOR PUBLIC CLEANING. HE STANDS FOR FREEDOM!

These girls just didn’t understand.

I didn’t actually meet LSV until later though. It wasn’t until SCG Seattle 2010. I remember I really needed money badly at the time so I was actually working behind the booth selling cards. Playing in a Magic tournament was no guarantee and I wasn’t trying to gamble.

LSV was at the tournament, and he was playing an absurd deck. It was a turbo land Time Warp deck inspired by Ali Aintrazi that was really taking off that weekend.

The deck combo’d with:

While the deck was pretty solid, more importantly the deck was totally sweet, and I guess it was good enough for a trip up to California.

Finally I got the intro from my buddy and editor of the site at the time Zaiem Beg. I always got the impression that Zaiem was much more comfortable approaching people than me. While I struggle and prefer an introduction, Zaiem has this power of approaching someone as an internet fan and legitimately leaving as a friend. So having Zaiem at the tournament was great for me, because he finally introduced me, we got to business, and instead of working retail I started my column here. Bam.

This leads us into today’s deck.

I have such a great feeling of nostalgia from this period in my life and Magic career that I wanted to port the Turbo Warp deck to Modern.

So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve built a deck that is okay in Modern, but is more importantly totally sweet. The deck dumps lands, makes mana, draws cards, takes extra turns, and eventually turns everybody sideways for the game win.

Turbo Land Warp

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Turbo Land Warp

Turbo Land Warp Card Discussion

Serum Visions is one of the strongest cards in Modern right now. With Ponder and Preordain banned, it’s the best cheap selection spell available and there’s a reason we see so much of it from the various Modern Combo decks.

I wanted a 1-mana answer to any kind of creature and Vapor Snag might be the best one available in blue and green. Dismember would be an option but I’m generally pretty averse to paying life.

I’m playing 3 of each of these 2-drops. Each of them is a bit situational so while they started at 4 they got shaved down.

Lotus Cobra is the strongest of the bunch. The guy can generate so much mana while being a body for a Garruk Ultimate. However, the card is a lightning rod and a bit awkward when stuck on lands, so I’ve been rocking 3 only.

Similar to Lotus Cobra is Explore. Explore is a nice combo with Lotus Cobra and helps us get to 4 mana on turn 3 to pull ahead. However, the card can be pretty awkward in the late game and super awkward when stuck on lands as well, so I’ve trimmed down to 3.

Remand is another great Modern card that fits right in this strategy. Remand buys time by slowing the opponent down while drawing us cards. The issue is that Remand is sometimes really bad when behind on board, and easy to play around from this deck. So again, I’m playing 3.

And then we have Snapcaster Mage. Snapcaster Mage doesn’t have Lightning Bolt to pair with in this deck so we have fewer flashback options. This is why I’m playing 3, and I could imagine playing 2 with an Eternal Witness as well.

These guys are the big reason to play the deck. They give us so much advantage from extra turn effects when in play. Jace keeps the cards flowing, while Garruk gives us extra mana and the board presence to actually get a kill. Oracle gives us extra land drops and digs for Treetop Villages. Kiora is a combination of an extra Oracle and Jace. It’s a bit fragile and weak, but I like it as a 1-of.

I’m playing 4 of each of Jace and Garruk, which leads to some awkward situations of drawing too many, but it seems to me that the deck really struggles to operate without them. So for the time being, I’m okay overloading.

If these numbers got trimmed, I think the deck would require an actual training-wheels win condition, probably Avenger of Zendikar.

Cryptic Command is by far the best Time Warp effect. It can give us an extra turn by tapping the opponent’s team. And in other situations it’s just always good. The card is Cryptic Command. I mean, it’s pushed. It’s just an insane card. And it works great in this deck and is a big pull toward trying to take extra turns in Modern.

Savor the Moment is a fun one but situational. It gives us an extra land drop while letting us manipulate our planeswalkers. It’s similar to Time Warp, but much less powerful because of the no untap. However it’s costed similarly to Explore and has a similar effect but is way more powerful.

Turbo Land Warp Photo Blog

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Here’s a picture of ultimating Garruk with all 4 Treetop Villages ready to swing.

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This is a world I want to live in.

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Some people ask what the win condition is. Most of them don’t wait to find out.

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Treetop Village concessions continue.

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Here’s the start of an especially good turn 4.

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Rage disconnnects are a thing.

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Jace, whatchu doin there buddy?

Turbo Land Warp Board

Building a sideboard for a deck like this is very interesting. One thing to think about is that while this deck might be fragile to certain spells or archetypes, it’s not a glass cannon. It’s kind of just a midrange deck with a decent amount of interaction and a combo finish.

This means we probably don’t need to sideboard to shore up matchups for specific problem cards too much, and can instead fill the sideboard up with the most potent hosers available.

I’ve written for a while that Rest in Peace and Stony Silence are the best sideboard cards available in Modern, so let’s play them.

Rest in Peace is almost always good for an easy win against Storm Combo, which is generally pretty popular in the 2-mans I play in. The card is also fantastic against other graveyard strategies such as Living End.

Turn 2 Stony Silence is so unfair against Affinity. Their deck struggles to do much of anything and it usually doesn’t take too much on top of it to pull off the win. Stony Silence can also be great against Tron and random Eggs and artifact decks online.

This is my complete sideboard:

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Spreading Seas seems to fit naturally in the sideboard as a hoser against Tron deck and other decks with ambitious mana bases. Spreading Seas draws us a card like Explore, so is pretty easy to sideboard in without disrupting the deck’s plan.

And then we have the good old 1 Wurmcoil Engine, which I can’t resist doing. The card has gotten a bit worse with Path to Exile becoming more popular, but the strategy still seems good to me. In grindy matchups or in matchups where we need to dilute our deck at the cost of sideboarding, having 1 easy-mode win condition seems awesome.

I suppose this slot could also be an Avenger of Zendikar, but I definitely have a soft spot for Wurmcoil Engine, so here it is.

Playing Turbo Land Warp

So there’s the deck, and I suppose the rest is up to you. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably been entertained by the deck, and if that’s all, that’s totally fine.

For those of you actually considering putting together a strategy like this and running it, I highly recommend it. It’s a really fantastic experience of netting more and more lands and cards while taking extra turns, and this deck is the way to do that right now in Modern.

As always, hit me with questions and comments if you please, and I will try to get back to you. Check out my Cube draft video tonight and a Turbo Land Warp video later this week!

<3 Travis

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