Modern Monday: Heartless Eldrazi

The new decks in Modern have been slim pickings recently, so this week I’ trying something different. My friend Mike reached out to me about a Modern Eldrazi deck he had put together that tries to abuse Heartless Summoning to cheat in an early Emrakul, the Promised End.

If you remember correctly, in the early days of Modern Eldrazi, there were black versions with Heartless Summoning trying to do just this, only they were looking at Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger instead. This was back when Eye of Ugin was still legal, and the potential of the Eldrazi was still largely untapped. Now we know better.

Heartless Eldrazi

A lot to unpack here, but we can talk about that after the matches. You have main deck cards that may seem out of place, like Nihil Spellbomb and Bloodstained Mire, to lower Emrakul’s casting cost, which makes sense. I can’t, however, get behind having only 3 Thought-Knot Seer. That’s sacrilege to me, but I’m going to give the deck the benefit of the doubt.

Also, if your goal is to get Emrakul, the Promised End out as quickly as possible, you likely want as many copies of Oblivion Sower and Conduit of Ruin as you can get, just because they both facilitate that goal.

While we no longer have Eye of Ugin, could Heartless Summoning fulfill the role of Eldrazi Temple #5-8? Let’s find out:

The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize I had a 61st card until I started playing the matches. So my first goal is to cut that 61st card. I’m also wondering, though, if you’re trying so hard to cast Emrakul on the cheap that you’re adding sideboard cards like Nihil Spellbomb to the main deck (though arguably better is we have cards that process), maybe you could just be playing Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger instead?

I’m also not a huge fan of Fatal Push in the deck, awkwardly enough. Not only do I think Dismember is a better removal spell for the deck, I also wonder if Wasteland Strangler has a place here. You’d have to change things around, but with Thought-Knot Seer, Oblivion Sower, and those Nihil Spellbombs, you do have ways to exile cards.

Mike also asked if I thought splashing for another card would be good, and I’m not sure. Black takes care of a lot of the problems you need to address in Modern, which is nice, and my most frequent losses came from being unable to deal with random flash fliers that cost more than 2 mana, like Spell Queller and Restoration Angel. There were actually three matches in which I would have been fine had I been able to deal with these. This is why I think Dismember (or even Go for the Throat) is so crucial; if you’re going to play mono-black, at least make sure you’re maximizing what black does best! That being said, I also think you should move the 2 copies of Thoughtseize to the main deck while you’re at it.

I love cheating Eldrazi into play, especially with Heartless Summoning, and I think this deck could have some merit with tweaking. I’d also probably move the Collective Brutality to the sideboard to make room for more big threats. That’s all I ever wanted to draw, especially in the late game when I had tons of mana. Maybe Liliana has a home here as well, considering you can discard excess copies of Emrakul (or Ulamog) and Heartless Summoning.

These are just my first thoughts, but if you have more, let me know in the comments!

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